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24 avril 2012 2 24 /04 /avril /2012 15:15
Molecular Psychiatry (2012) 17, 486–493; doi:10.1038/mp.2011.179; published online 31 January 2012

Absence of evidence for bornavirus infection in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder

M Hornig1,2, T Briese1,2, J Licinio3, R F Khabbaz4, L L Altshuler5, S G Potkin6, M Schwemmle7, U Siemetzki1, J Mintz5, K Honkavuori1, H C Kraemer8, M F Egan9, P C Whybrow5, W E Bunney6 and W I Lipkin1,2
  1. 1Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
  3. 3John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  4. 4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
  5. 5Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  6. 6University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
  7. 7Department of Virology, Universitätsklinikum, Freiburg, Germany
  8. 8Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
  9. 9Clinical Neuroscience, Merck & Company, North Wales, PA, USA

Correspondence: Dr M Hornig, Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail:mady.hornig@columbia.edu; Dr WI Lipkin, Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail:wil2001@columbia.edu

Received 30 August 2011; Revised 8 November 2011; Accepted 21 November 2011
Advance online publication 31 January 2012



In 1983, reports of antibodies in subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD) to an as-yet uncharacterized infectious agent associated with meningoencephalitis in horses and sheep led to molecular cloning of the genome of a novel, negative-stranded neurotropic virus, Borna disease virus (BDV). This advance has enabled the development of new diagnostic assays, including in situ hybridization, PCR and serology based on recombinant proteins. Since these assays were first implemented in 1990, more than 80 studies have reported an association between BDV and a wide range of human illnesses that include MDD, bipolar disorder (BD), schizophrenia (SZ), anxiety disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia and glioblastoma multiforme. However, to date there has been no blinded case–control study of the epidemiology of BDV infection. Here, in a United States-based, multi-center, yoked case–control study with standardized methods for clinical assessment and blinded serological and molecular analysis, we report the absence of association of psychiatric illness with antibodies to BDV or with BDV nucleic acids in serially collected serum and white blood cell samples from 396 subjects, a study population comprised of 198 matched pairs of patients and healthy controls (52 SZ/control pairs, 66 BD/control pairs and 80 MDD/control pairs). Our results argue strongly against a role for BDV in the pathogenesis of these psychiatric disorders.


Borna disease virus; infection; schizophrenia; affective disorders; pathogenesis

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20 avril 2012 5 20 /04 /avril /2012 06:28
Analysis: Translational Notes - Neurology SciBX 5(16); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.406 Building tools against autism by Lev Osherovich, Senior Writer An academic-industry consortium headed by King's College London and Roche launched this month with €29.6 million ($38.9 million) to develop research tools and diagnostics for autism spectrum disorder and to help select clinical endpoints for future autism trials. Published online April 19 2012
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18 avril 2012 3 18 /04 /avril /2012 14:09

The Silent Time Bomb Now Affecting 1 in 54 Boys in the US






Story at-a-glance


  • According to the most recent statistics, an average of 1 in 88 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This number represents a 78 percent increase in autism over the past five years.
  • ASDs are nearly five times more common among boys than girls
  • Research is now clearly showing that environmental factors play a primary role in the epidemic of autism spectrum diseases. Toxic overload appears to be at the core of the problem
  • Possible environmental factors for autism are incredibly diverse and include excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation, mercury toxicity, vaccine damage, phthalates and other common household chemicals, vitamin D deficiency, and brain toxicity stemming from gut toxicity
  • In children with Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), toxicity flowing from their gut throughout their bodies and into their brains literally clogs the brain with toxicity, preventing it from performing its normal function and processing sensory information. Inexpensive tests can identify GAPS within the first weeks of your baby's life, which can help you make better-informed decisions about how to proceed to set your child on the path to a healthy life


By Dr. Mercola

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that 1 in 88 children in the U.S. are now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)i .

The number represents a 23 percent increase in the last two years and 78 percent in the past five years.

But that was just the average—the numbers were much greater for Hispanics (110 percent) and black children (91 percent).

The study, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportii , also found that ASDs are nearly five times more common among boys than girls.

Broken down, the numbers equate to 1 in 54 boys with ASDs, and 1 in 252 girls. The updated estimates are based on data collected in 14 American communities during 2008.

These communities comprised over eight percent of all American 8-year-olds that year. Interestingly, the number of children with ASDs varied widely from site to site.

The highest prevalence was found in Utah, where a staggering 1 in 47 eight-year-olds were identified with some form of ASD.

New Jersey was also far higher than the average, with 1 in 49iii . What's really going on here?

WHAT is Causing the Skyrocketing Increase in Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Personally, I don't see how anyone can look at a 78 percent increase of any health problem in a mere five years without snapping to attention. Prior to the CDC's announcement, the Canary Party, a citizens' action group on autism, rightfully predicted that the CDC would downplay the seriousness of these latest statistics.

On its new autism webpage, the CDC state they suspect some of the increase "is due to greater awareness and better identification" among some of the children.

But even taking that possibility into consideration, the statistics are truly shocking. How can one in 88 American children have some form of autistic disorder? In a normal, healthy environment, that just shouldn't happen. And the fact that it IS happening demands our immediate attention. Something is going very wrong, very fast...

While many are focusing their efforts on nailing down one culprit or another—vaccines being the perfect example—I believe taking such a narrow-minded approach can be extremely counterproductive. In my view, what we're seeing here is the culmination of what amounts to a perfect storm...

Research is now clearly showing that environmental factors play a primary role in the epidemic of autism spectrum disorders. But which environmental factors are to blame?

While vaccines have borne the brunt of people's suspicions, there's plenty of evidence suggesting there are multiple factors at play. The factor that prevents us from writing vaccines off as being harmless is the fact that toxic overload appears to be at the core of the problem, and many vaccines do indeed contribute to a child's overall toxic load. So while it's probably unreasonable to blame vaccines alone for the rapid rise in autism, it would be just as unreasonable to ignore their impact, and continue on with the one-fits-all vaccination policy as if everything is a-okay.

The majority of autism cases do appear to result from the activation or "expression," of a number of different genes, along with multiple epigenetic and environmental factors that interact to produce the traits of autism. But science is increasingly showing us just how malleable our genes are—they continuously respond to their environment, meaning, your body and everything you put into and onto it... Furthermore, there's no shortage of evidence that toxins of different sorts can wreak havoc with brain function. Add to this the more recent findings that your gut is profoundly influential for brain health, and a picture of toxic overload combined with inadequate nutrition comes into clear view.

Why We Must Insist on Invoking the Precautionary Principle

If multiple toxic exposures and poor nutrition is to blame, then trying to tease out "the" primary culprit will get us nowhere. I believe we must tackle the issue of ASD with a much wider aim, and that is to reduce ALL toxic exposure and improve nutrition. This tactic includes but is not limited to reducing the vaccine load, especially in the US where children receive the most vaccines of any country on the planet. I believe it's imperative to invoke the precautionary principle with respects to vaccines, and, at the very least, allow people to opt out if they so choose.

While vaccine advocates tend to stress the importance of so-called "herd immunity," saying the vaccine will not work unless the majority is vaccinated, there's a great price to pay by forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all mold.

Not only are some children at greater risk for vaccine damage than others (which I'll review in a moment), but we also eliminate the ability to evaluate the health risks of vaccinations if no one is allowed to opt out. We NEED to conduct comparison studies to evaluate the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, yet such studies are not done. An oft-cited reason for that is that it would be unethical to not vaccinate certain children... But this is not really a reasonable excuse today, as many parents want to opt out of one or more vaccines for their children.

Environmental Factors that May Play a Role in Autism

When looking into the possible environmental factors for autism, they are incredibly diverse. The following is just a short list of examples:

  •  Electromagnetic fields: Work by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt suggests there are distinct correlations between a woman's exposure to electromagnetic fields during pregnancy and her child's neurological functioning. He found that if you sleep in strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy, your child will likely begin to exhibit neurological abnormalities within the first two years of life, such as neurological dysfunction, hyperactivity, and learning disorders.
  • In 2007, this theory received additional support from a study published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicineiv . It presented the theory that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies may work in conjunction with genetic and environmental factors, becoming an accelerating factor in autism. After more than five years of research on children with autism they found that EMR negatively affects cell membranes, allowing heavy metal toxins, which are associated with autism, to build up.
    To learn more about the science of HOW electromagnetic radiation affects and harms your body, please review this previous article featuring Dr. Martin Blank. 
  •  Mercury toxicity: It is already an established fact that exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions -- all similar to traits defining, or associated with autism. Mercury pollution is widespread from the burning of fossil fuels, but the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines and dental amalgams—both of which contain mercury—also cannot be overlooked as major sources of individual exposure to this neurotoxin
  •  Vaccines: A 2011 reviewv of the peer-reviewed, published studies on autism (going all the way back to 1943) revealed numerous documented cases of autism caused by encephalitis following vaccination. There are many potential vaccine-related culprits, including the use of toxic adjuvants; the presence of human DNA in vaccines; and the increasing number of vaccines given in a short period of time
  •  Phthalates: Research from 2009 discovered that infants who lived in homes with vinyl floors were twice as likely to have autism five years later, compared to those with wood or linoleum flooring. Vinyl floors can emit chemicals called phthalates, which are widely used plastic softeners found in much more than just vinyl flooring. Hairsprays, perfumes, cosmetics, toys, shower curtains, wood finishers, lubricants, certain medical devices and more all contain phthalates. Researchers have suggested the chemicals may contribute to autism by disrupting hormones not only in small children but also in the womb
  •  Vitamin D Deficiency: There is also a link between rampant vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and the proportionate jump in autism, which has been highlighted by Dr. John Cannellvi . The vitamin D receptor appears in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain

Neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recently shared a common thread that may be linking these and other environmental factors together, namely brain toxicity stemming from gut toxicity, otherwise known as Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). She cured her own son of autism using an all-natural treatment involving dietary changes and detoxification, and her hypothesis is in my view one of the most elegant.

GAPS: An Elegant Explanation of the Roots of Autism

Dr. Campbell-McBride is convinced that autistic children are born with perfectly normal brains and sensory organs, but that abnormal gut flora, passed on from their mother and father, leads to devastating gut and brain toxicity. In children with Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), toxicity flowing from their gut throughout their bodies and into their brains, literally clogs the brain with toxicity, preventing it from performing its normal function and processing sensory information.



Total Video Length: 1:13:21

Download Interview Transcript

But what leads to such devastatingly abnormal gut flora?

Dr. Campbell discovered that a large percentage of mothers of autistic children were bottle-fed. Then, as they received many courses of antibiotics throughout their childhood, they developed increasingly worse abnormalities in their gut flora, which in turn was passed on to their children. Add to that a diet of processed foods and the use of birth control pills, and the damage to a woman's gut flora deepens even further, and each generation quickly gets worse and worse, unless active remediation is undertaken. According to Dr. Campbell-McBride:

"Many of these modern factors created a whole plethora of young ladies in our modern world who have got quite deeply abnormal gut flora by the time they are ready to have their first child."

Vaccination Policy is Oftentimes the "Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back"

Dr. Campbell-McBride's book Gut and Psychology Syndrome contains an entire chapter outlining what health care professionals need to do to improve the vaccination strategy, because the standard vaccination protocol is bound to damage GAPS babies.

She explains:

"It's a matter of the last straw breaking the camel's back. If the child is damaged enough, the vaccine can provide that last straw. But if it doesn't provide that last straw in a particular child, then it will get the child closer to the breaking point."

Fortunately, it's possible to rather inexpensively identify GAPS within the first weeks of your baby's life, which can help you make better-informed decisions about vaccinations, and about how to proceed to set your child on the path to a healthy life. The entire process for identifying children who would be at risk for developing autism from a vaccine is described in her book, but to sum it up, in her practice she starts out by collecting a complete health history of the parents, and their gut health is assessed. Then, within the first few days of life, the stool of the child can be analyzed to determine the state of her gut flora, followed by a urine test to check for metabolites, which can give you a picture of the state of your child's immune system.

These tests are available in most laboratories around the world and cost a very reasonable amount, about $80-100 per test -- peanuts compared to the incredible expense of treating an autistic child once the damage is done.

In my view it is absolutely VITAL to perform this analysis BEFORE you consider vaccinating your child. If the test results are normal the likelihood of autism after vaccines is dramatically reduced. As Dr. Campbell-McBride states, she has yet to find an autistic child with normal bowel flora. If you find that your baby has abnormal gut microflora, or begins to develop symptoms of autism a year or two later, the GAPS program should be started immediately, as the younger the child is when you start the treatment, the better the results. The child should not be given any vaccines until their microflora tests normal. For more information about the GAPS Nutritional Program, including the two types of GAPS diets, and the importance of fermented foods, please review this previous article.

Thoughts on Reversing the Trajectory of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a complex condition with many contributing factors and it takes a multi-faceted approach to treat it. We're now also beginning to understand it requires a multi-faceted approach to prevent it. Hopefully, more people will begin to take Dr. Campbell-McBride's information to heart and put it to practice so that more children may be spared from the get-go. But even that's not going far enough. We must tackle this problem from all angles, and that also includes:

  • Reduce your and your child's toxic burden: This includes avoiding as many dangerous chemicals as possible, which makes listing the do's and don'ts virtually impossible. There's just too many. As a general rule though, eating whole organic foods will go a long way, as that automatically cuts out processed foods and related chemicals, genetically engineered foods, and artificial sweeteners.
  • Also be careful with the personal care products you use, as well as your household cleaning products and home building materials and furnishings... Opting for "green" and/or organic alternatives will help reduce many of the toxins most people encounter on a daily basis.
    Do whatever you can to establish a toxin-free environment for your whole family, and then establish a detoxification program. Please remember hidden toxins like mold and fluoride. The book, Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call, by Dr. Doris Rapp is an excellent resource if you're unsure of how or where to start. 
  • Lower the EMF burden in your home, especially in your bedrooms.
  • Carefully review the vaccination issue, including the conventional vaccination schedule, and know that in most U.S. states you still have the right to opt out of vaccines.
  •  Avoid pasteurized milk; it's an absolute imperative to the treatment of autism. Anyone managing this illness without restricting milk is deceiving themselves. This includes all milk products, such as ice cream, yogurt and whey. Even natural flavorings in food must be avoided unless the processor can guarantee that caseinate is not included.
  • Complete elimination of sugar/fructose, juice, soda, French fries and wheat (pasta, bagels, cereal, pretzels, etc) is also highly recommended.
  • Get proper sun exposure. It is my personal belief that vitamin D deficiency in conjunction with damaged gut flora may be two of the most significant contributing factors to autism. Optimizing your vitamin D levels and your gut flora during pregnancy appears to be the most important prevention strategies discovered to date.


  1. i Centers for Disease Control March 29, 2012
  1. ii Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, March 30, 2012 / 61(SS03);1-19
  1. iii ADDM Report 2012
  2. iv Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. Vol. 26 No.2 (August 2007) pages 3-7
  3. v Journal of Immunotoxicology 2011; 8(1): 68–79
  4. vi The Vitamin D Council, Patient friendly summary on autism

Posted By Dr. Mercola | April 17 2012 

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17 avril 2012 2 17 /04 /avril /2012 07:07
Estimer le risque de transmission du VIH à chaque rapport a été le graal des épidémiologistes intéressés pendant plus de 2 décennies. Un problème qui semble avoir été en grande partie résolu en 2009, à l’occasion de la publication dans le Lancet Infectious Diseases d’un article de MC Boily et coll, largement repris depuis et intitulé « risque hétérosexuel de l’infection par VIH-1 par acte sexuel : revue systématique et méta-analyse des études observationnelles ». On y apprenait (entre autres), grâce à la compilation de 43 publications contributives, que les risques de transmission globaux étaient respectivement de 0,04 % et de 0,08 % par acte dans les sens femme-homme et homme-femme en l’absence d’antirétroviraux dans les pays riches, et de 0,38 % et 0,30 % dans les pays à faible revenu, indépendamment de toute relation tarifée. Les rapports anaux paraissaient bien plus à risque, à 1,7 % [intervalle de confiance à 95 % : 0,3-8,9]. Les estimations pour les phases précoces et tardives de l’infection à VIH donnaient des chiffres de 9,2 et 7,3 fois supérieurs à ceux de la phase asymptomatique ; enfin, la circoncision semblait diviser le risque par deux, selon des données qui ont été largement commentées depuis. Problème apparemment réglé, donc, encore que les auteurs aient souligné dans leur conclusion que des efforts restaient nécessaires pour mieux quantifier l’infectivité du VIH dans les pays à faible revenu, les publications retenues montrant des résultats très hétérogènes. D’où l’intérêt de cette étude prospective africaine de 3 297 couples discordants engagés dans un essai randomisé testant l’aciclovir (pour l’infection à HSV), intervention n’intervenant pas dans la transmission du VIH, que proposent aujourd’hui JP Hugues et coll. Dans cet essai à la méthodologie statistique rigoureuse, les risques de transmission par acte non protégé étaient de 0,0019 (homme-femme) et 0,0010 (femme-homme) [à rapporter aux 0,0030 et 0,0038 cités précédemment]. Chaque log 10 supplémentaire de charge virale multipliait un risque unique par un facteur 2,9 (intervalle de confiance à 95 % : 2,2-3,8), l’utilisation signalée de condom le diminuant de 78 %. A côté de la charge virale et de l’absence de condoms, une infection herpétique ou une trichomonase, des ulcères génitaux, une vaginite ou une cervicite du partenaire négatif augmentaient les risques de transmission. Enfin et c’est sans doute là une limite importante de ce travail, des groupes avec d’éventuelles phases précoces et tardives d’infection à VIH n’étaient pas identifiés. Dans un éditorial joint à l’article princeps, RH Gray et MJ Wawer, de l’Université Johns Hopkins Hospital de Baltimore, soulignent combien les études destinées à évaluer l’infectiosité du VIH sont troublantes et parfois sujettes à caution, celle-ci variant selon de trop nombreux facteurs même si, dans tous les cas de figure, elle semble évoluer inversement avec les revenus des pays étudiés. Ils observent, quoi qu’il en soit, qu’une probabilité de transmission d’une à deux infections pour 1 000 coïts en phase latente du VIH ne colle pas avec les épidémies explosives hétérosexuelles d’aujourd’hui ; manifestement, d’autres combinaisons et co facteurs jouent des rôles majeurs. Et en bons anglo-saxons qu’ils sont, finissent leur éditorial en citant Winston Churchill pour définir la probabilité d’une transmission lors d’un acte sexuel unique : « a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma » (une devinette enveloppée dans un mystère à l’intérieur d’une énigme). Dr Jack Breuil 12/04/2012 Hughes JP et coll. : Determinants of per-coital-act HIV-1 infectivity among African HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. J Infect Dis., 2012 ; 205 : 358-65
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12 avril 2012 4 12 /04 /avril /2012 06:50
Long term antibiotic therapy may be an effective treatment for children co-morbid with Lyme disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Authors: Kuhn M, et al. Show all Journal Med Hypotheses. 2012 May;78(5):606-15. Epub 2012 Feb 22. Affiliation University of North Dakota, 231 Centenial Drive Stop 7189, Grand Forks, ND 58202-7189, USA. Abstract Patients diagnosed with Lyme disease share many of the same physical manifestations as those diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this study four male children (ages 26-55months) who have an ASD diagnosis and one male child (age 18months) who displayed behaviors consistent with an ASD, were assessed using the SCERTS Assessment Process Observation (SAP-O) form. The SAP-O meets state and federal requirements for providing a comprehensive, ongoing assessment of a child with an ASD [33]. The SAP-O form measures children's abilities using observational, authentic assessment procedures in the domains of joint attention, symbol use, mutual regulation, and self regulation via observations of specific behaviors in familiar settings [33]. The five children tested positive for Lyme disease and their SAP-O score was evaluated before and after 6months of antibiotic therapy. Each child was prescribed 200mg of amoxicillin three times per day and three of the five children were prescribed an additional 50mg of Azithromycin once per day. All of the children's scores on the SAP-O assessment improved after 6months of antibiotic therapy. The assessors also reported anecdotal data of improved speech, eye contact, sleep behaviors, and a reduction of repetitive behaviors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. PMID 22361005 [PubMed - in process]
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11 avril 2012 3 11 /04 /avril /2012 09:33

«Un reportage « sur le terrain, au Tchad, avec le PDG de Sanofi [Chris Viehbacher] pour dépister et traiter la maladie ».
« le 30 janvier 2012, lors de la Déclaration de Londres, 13 groupes pharmaceutiques dont Sanofi, mais aussi l'Organisation mondiale de la santé, la fondation Bill et Melinda Gates et d'autres institutions internationales se sont engagés à contrôler ou éliminer dix maladies tropicales négligées d'ici à la fin de la décennie. 

Ce jour-là, Sanofi en particulier a accepté de combattre sans réserve cinq infections tropicales, la filariose lymphatique, la leishmaniose, la maladie de Chagas, l'ulcère de Buruli et la trypanosomiase humaine africaine, encore dite maladie du sommeil ».

« en réalité la bataille du géant pharmaceutique contre ce fléau a commencé dès 2001. Du fait de fusions acquisitions successives, la firme possède dans son portefeuille 3 molécules essentielles contre ce parasite. Mais à quoi servent les médicaments, si on n'a pas d'équipes capables de se rendre dans ces zones reculées ? Que peuvent ces équipes mobiles s'il n'y a pas de microscopes, de réactifs ? ».

« L'industriel a décidé de faire don des médicaments, mais s'est aussi engagé à financer la formation, le matériel et toutes les infrastructures nécessaires jusqu'à la disparition définitive du parasite dans toute l'Afrique, sur la base de programmes définis par l'OMS, avec les États. Au total, 36 pays sont concernés ».

Au Tchad, Chris Viehbacher déclare ainsi : « Jusqu'à présent, pour moi, c'était juste un programme que nous financions. Maintenant ce n'est plus seulement un partenariat, j'ai vu l'implication des médecins, des infirmiers, j'ai compris les difficultés, les obstacles au dépistage, au traitement, sous la chaleur, dans les champs. Mais ce qui me frappe le plus, c'est que nous, dans nos laboratoires, nous sommes intéressés par les technologies, les nouvelles molécules. J'apprends ici que les médicaments ne sont pas tout, mais qu'il a fallu tout concevoir autour du malade. C'est un concept auquel on doit réfléchir, en France aussi ».
Lors de ce voyage du PDG au Tchad : « Sanofi et l'OMS [sont] en passe d'éliminer la maladie du sommeil. L'Afrique ne totalisait plus en 2011 que 6.500 personnes atteintes par cette maladie, contre 350.000 en 1997. D'ici à 2020, la contribution financière du laboratoire tricolore aura atteint une centaine de millions de dollars ».

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10 avril 2012 2 10 /04 /avril /2012 13:00
Selon une étude américaine parue dans Pediatrics, « les mères obèses ou diabétiques durant la grossesse sont plus susceptibles de donner naissance à un enfant autiste ou rencontrant des retards de développement ». les chercheurs « ont examiné 1 004 couples mère-enfant issus d'horizons socio-économiques les plus divers en Californie. Environ la moitié des enfants du groupe étaient autistes, 172 étaient atteints de troubles du développement et 315 étaient considérés comme normaux. il est ainsi 67% plus probable qu'une mère obèse mette au monde un enfant autiste qu'une femme au poids considéré comme normal. Elle est aussi deux fois plus susceptible d'avoir un enfant atteint d'un trouble quelconque du développement qu'une mère au poids normal et qui ne souffre pas de diabète ». « plus de 20% des mères ayant un enfant autiste ou atteint d'un retard de développement étaient obèses pendant la grossesse. Tandis que 14% des mères ayant eu des enfants normaux étaient obèses lors de la grossesse ». Les auteurs écrivent que ces résultats « sont porteurs de sérieuses préoccupations en termes de santé publique ». « le mois dernier, les autorités sanitaires américaines avaient révélé que le nombre de cas d'autisme diagnostiqués chez les enfants américains avait augmenté de 23% de 2006 à 2008, pour s'établir à 1 sur 88 en moyenne ».
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6 avril 2012 5 06 /04 /avril /2012 13:06
Global Warming May Bring More Lyme Disease, Ticks Darren Collins doesn't know life without Lyme disease. He was just 11 months old when he came home from Wisconsin's Mauthe Lake Campground pasty white, lethargic and running a fever of 105. Darren's flu-like illness eventually subsided, but a host of other troubling Lyme-related symptoms -- stomachaches, irritability and concentration problems -- have since plagued the boy, now 10. "He's like Jekyll and Hyde," says his mom, Kristin. One moment Darren could be "happy and smiling," and the next in a "complete rage." "He scores perfect on a spelling test one week, then gets every word wrong the next week," adds Kristin, a nurse in Waukesha, Wisc. "He wants to know why he can't be like other kids." Darren Collins holds up a flag with the names of another family afflicted by Lyme. Sisters, Sophie and Stephanie, frequent his chat room; both were too sick to participate in the fundraiser walk. For now, Darren is settling for finding kids like himself, a group that has grown significantly over the decade since he contracted the disease from a tick bite. And according to experts, there may be a link between these increases and a changing climate. A quarter of all Lyme disease cases are among children. At highest risk: kids ages 5 to 14, who are more likely to play outdoors and close to the ground, where ticks are ready to pounce. Darren recently launched an online chat room catering to this group. Every Friday night at 8 p.m. Central, he now talks online with nearly a dozen new friends who log on from as far away as Kentucky and Australia, all living with Lyme. Overall numbers are on the rise, too. From 2005 to 2010, the number of Wisconsinites contracting Lyme each year jumped from 26 to 44 of every 100,000 people. Around 15,000 cases nationwide were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the mid-1990s. That number is now 30,000 to 40,000, although the CDC admits it could be as much as 12 times higher. Lyme is just one of a lengthening list of emerging infectious diseases that are soaring in North America. Experts say that increasing temperatures and altered precipitation patterns that accompany climate change are already playing at least a partial role in the spread and intensity of zoonoses -- infectious agents that begin in animals and account for an estimated 75 percent of all newly emerging diseases. Cases of West Nile virus reported to the CDC, for example, rose from 21 in 2000 -- a year after its arrival in New York City -- to more than 1,000 in 2010. Like Lyme disease, most zoonoses require an intermediary tick, mosquito or other insect to transfer the virus or bacterium from an animal to a human. Because insects are cold-blooded, they are highly sensitive to outside conditions: A few degrees or inches of rain can significantly enhance or hamper their ability to survive, reproduce and effectively pass on a parasite. "There are lots of factors that contribute," says Ben Beard, a climate change expert with the CDC, highlighting the influence of international travel, wildlife management and the suburban lifestyle on emerging infectious diseases. "But climate disruption and change clearly have an impact." OF MICE AND MEN ... AND ACORNS For more than 20 years, Rick Ostfeld has been studying small mammals, ticks and tree seeds, trying to untangle some of the complex interrelationships that give rise to Lyme disease. Sure enough, he's found that acorns provide a wonderful winter food supply for white-footed mice, which in turn are a favorite meal of blood-thirsty black-legged ticks. "Acorn abundance gives rodents a jumpstart on breeding," says Ostfeld, an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. "By the next summer, mice numbers are through the roof." Scientists are unsure what causes spikes in acorn production, although studies suggest that plants produce more seeds with warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide. "Long term, we can probably expect to see more tree seed production, including acorns," says Ostfeld. "That would influence how frequently we get these terribly risky years." The unprecedented acorn crop across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic spurred a mouse boom in 2010, and subsequent low acorn year in 2011, which Ostfeld anticipates will make for a "perfect storm" in 2012. Over the next couple months, as baby ticks wake up and look for a blood meal, there will be few mice to feast on. The next-best thing: humans. This year's mild winter may make matters even worse. Ostfeld says that it wouldn't surprise him if Lyme-carrying ticks come out as early as this month. Kristin's husband plucked a tick off himself just last week. Dr. Jared Zelman, an emergency room doctor at Sharon Hospital in Connecticut, has already seen cases, too. "Medical care providers in this region need to have their antennas very high," says Zelman, also a physician at two private schools in the area, long a hotbed for Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. Warming temperatures may not only influence the intensity of tick transmission, but may also affect where ticks choose to live, according to Nick Ogden, a zoonoses expert with the Public Health Agency of Canada. While regions of the southern U.S. may actually turn inhospitable for ticks due to overly hot temperatures, other parts of North America may become newly suitable. A study published in March by Ogden and his colleagues suggests an area of eastern Canada habitable by ticks is expanding -- from an estimated 18 percent of the population affected in 2010 to more than 80 percent by 2020. Over the past 60 years, average annual temperatures in Canada have increased by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 degrees Celsius). "We've had a prediction of increasing risk, but now we're seeing it," says Ogden. Of course, Lyme isn't the only disease heading north. PROMISCUOUS POOPERS AND FLYING FEVERS Most kissing bugs in the U.S. "eat and run," says Lori Stevens, a biologist at the University of Vermont. Species of the creepy crawler in Central and South America, on the other hand, are known to take leisurely meals. "They poop while eating," Stevens says, adding that these species are also more likely to venture indoors. The blood-suckers get their name from their tendency to bite people around the mouth, usually at night. As a result, the bug's feces is more likely to make its way into its victim, often escorting the parasite that causes Chagas disease, a potentially life-threatening disease found mainly in Latin America. Infants and young children appear most susceptible, says Stevens, likely because they are less able to move and thwart bugs in their crib. Stevens and her colleagues have collected hundreds of kissing bugs from around the U.S. More than half, they've found, are infected with Chagas. Further, as they reported in a small study published in March, nearly 40 percent of bugs had fed on human blood. Chagas is a silent killer. Fewer than 10 percent of people infected have initial symptoms. It's usually not until 10 to 20 years later that the disease takes its toll -- on the heart. Not surprisingly, a connection between cardiovascular problems and a bug bite received decades prior is rarely made by patients or doctors. The CDC estimates 300,000 undiagnosed cases of Chagas in the U.S., many of which are in immigrants from Latin America. The American Red Cross now screens blood donations for the parasite. "We're pretty consistently finding Chagas in one percent of the Latin American population," says Dr. Sheba Meymandi, a Chagas expert in Los Angeles. Meymandi has seen two 17-year-old patients in the last year and a half with infections identified by blood donation screenings. One boy caught Chagas during a round of golf; the other while mountain biking. Neither teen was of Hispanic decent or had traveled outside the U.S. While these kind of outdoor infections continue to occur, the bigger concern is whether the more dangerous, domesticated kissing bug species of Central and South America is moving north. Because the insects vary in their preferred temperature and humidity, some researchers worry that climate change could help along the defecating-during-mealtime bugs. They have the same concerns about mosquitoes implicated in West Nile Virus, among other lesser-known zoonoses. Recent research in California found that hot temperatures predict greater West Nile transmission: The virus can both replicate and travel from the gut to the salivary glands faster with warmer weather, allowing a mosquito to start infecting people sooner, explains Aaron Brault, another zoonoses expert at the CDC. Rainfall is also critical. Heavy spring rains followed by a dry summer is the perfect formula for mosquitos' favorite breeding ground: stagnant pools of polluted water. Of increasing concern to the CDC is a mosquito recently arrived from overseas. The Asian tiger mosquito is particularly sensitive to climate and capable of transmitting not only West Nile, but also devastating diseases of the developing world, including dengue fever (already reported in Florida and Texas) and chikungunya. "It's only a matter of time," says the CDC's Beard. "We need to focus on what we can do about it now: surveillance, preparedness and prevention." 'BE VIGILANT' "When a disease occurs in a new area, we need to be quick to recognize and respond," Beard says. "The most important thing is to continue to invest at national, state and local levels." Several states and local governments have developed preparedness programs to address the spread of infectious diseases associated with climate change. But as The Huffington Post reported in February, federal funds for such surveillance and diagnosis measures are shrinking. John Brownstein, a pediatrician and researcher at Children's Hospital Boston, has been using climate change forecasts to project where Lyme might appear next. In 2005, he predicted the tick-borne diseases infiltration and spread in Canada that we are seeing today. With federal funding, he and his team are continuing to look at the effects of climate change on the distribution of a range of infectious diseases, including dengue. They're using what he calls "digital disease detection." The public can help by self-reporting diseases online or via a mobile application. Meanwhile, other researchers are discovering how surveillance and control of infections in dogs could go a long way in collaring both Lyme and Chagas. Rising risks also mean that "parents and pediatricians need to be vigilant," says Beard. In the case of Lyme, that might mean encouraging kids to wear insect repellent, tucking pants into socks, daily tick checks (for both people and pets), walking in the center of trails, avoiding bushy areas with high grass and showering after being outdoors. The CDC's website shares further suggestions, including how to create tick-free zones by putting playground equipment in the middle of the yard rather than on a forest fringe, where ticks thrive. "I hate to see people not let their kids play in the woods because of the threat," says the Cary Institute's Ostfeld. In addition to preventative measures, which he uses with his own kids, he notes the importance of being aware of Lyme disease symptoms: muscle aches, lethargy and fever outside of flu season. "Early treatment, when you suspect Lyme, is curative," Ostfeld says. Kristin Collins knows that if Darren had received a diagnosis and treatment early, spelling tests and simply being a kid would be easier for him today. Now, she is doing everything she can to keep other children and their families from suffering the same. As the vice president and medical liaison for the Wisconsin Lyme Network, she is handing out Lyme test kits "like candy," she says, while also advocating for the training of more doctors capable of diagnosing and treating the disease. "I know hundreds and hundreds of families dealing with this," says Collins. "It's heart-wrenching. It's scary. It's everywhere. Our kids are at a huge risk." Lynne Peeples | Apr 04, 2012 08:06 AM EDT
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5 avril 2012 4 05 /04 /avril /2012 06:27
Deux équipes nord-américaines ont retrouvé une association entre cancers colorectaux et une bactérie, Fusobacterium. Ces travaux, dont l'un est publié dans Genome Research, montrent que cette bactérie est abondamment présente dans certains carcinomes colorectaux, alors qu'elle est habituellement peu répandue dans le système digestif. Il serait donc possible que Fusobacterium joue un rôle dans la carcinogenèse, mais il est tout autant possible que la bactérie s'accumule dans le côlon après que la tumeur se soit formée. Le professeur Jean-Philippe Merlio du CHU de Bordeaux, explique qu'association n'est pas lien de causalité et que des travaux supplémentaires, sur des modèles murins, sont nécessaires pour démontrer la responsabilité de Fusobacterium. En attendant les résultats de telles recherches, une autre question se pose : comment une bactérie essentiellement présente dans la bouche se retrouve-t-elle dans le côlon ?
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2 avril 2012 1 02 /04 /avril /2012 12:02

Autisme : « Mon combat pour mon fils » 

Le Parisien 

A l’occasion de la Journée mondiale de l’autisme, Le Parisien publie un entretien avec l’animatrice radio Eglantine Eméyé, « maman d’un petit garçon de 6 ans, [autiste sévère, qui] cherche en vain une méthode efficace ».

Eglantine Eméyé remarque notamment : « J’ai eu et j’ai encore recours aux méthodes comportementales, comme ABA. Elles ont fait beaucoup de bien à mon fils. Le problème c’est qu’elles adoptent aujourd’hui vis-à-vis de la psychanalyse la même attitude de rejet dont elles étaient elles-mêmes victimes autrefois. Cela fait du tort à la cause de l’autisme ».

L’animatrice ajoute : « Aujourd’hui on ne sait pas comment soigner l’autisme. On ne fait que limiter les symptômes. Et en ce qui concerne mon fils, aujourd’hui plus rien ne marche. Alors malgré l’avis de la HAS, j’ai demandé qu’il teste la méthode psychanalytique du packing dans le cadre d’un essai à l’hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière. […] Je ne sais pas si cela va marcher, mais je n’ai pas d’autre solution que de la tester ».

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