Patients With Autoimmune Diseases Ask: What is “ASIA”?

The 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity, which included 3,000 doctors and scientists from around the world, commenced in 2014 to discuss one of the most intriguing and important items in the field of autoimmunity: the discovery of a new post-vaccine disorder associated with vaccine aluminum adjuvants called “Autoimmunity/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants,” also known as ASIA.

Scientists and organizations like the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute have long explored autoimmunity and the relationship between aluminum adjuvants in vaccines and adverse autoimmune responses. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin to all organisms, and a breadth of scientific research has demonstrated that aluminum plays a significant role in the development of dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, among other adverse health conditions.

Defining ASIA

ASIA is therefore only the latest autoimmune syndrome in a long list of disorders associated with aluminum adjuvants.

ASIA was first discovered in 2011 by Yehuda Shoenfeld, who characterizes the disorder as encompassing a wide range of symptoms, including weakness, anxiety, rashes, fatigue, sleep disorders, and arthritis, just to name a few. The disorder also refers to any environmental factor demonstrated to trigger autoimmune conditions. This means that aluminum adjuvants are just one of the many environmental factors that can be associated with ASIA. Squalene, a chemical component of vaccines used on Gulf War military members is also linked to autoimmune disorders that fall under the ASIA criteria. ASIA symptoms can manifest within week or years of an aluminum-adjuvant containing vaccine injection.

At the 9th International Autoimmunity Congress, the ASIA Syndrome was the subject of several presentations, including one by Dr. Carlo Perricone. He was among four presenters voted by his peers to present in a final Plenary Session. Interest in Dr. Perricone’s talk and the ASIA Syndrome highlighted the concern among scientists that autoimmune diseases are rapidly increasing, there are few effective treatments, diagnosis has become more difficult due to diverse symptoms, and there is a great need for more research to understand instigators and treatment options to help a rising tide of sick patients. His talk based on his research, “Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) 2013: Unveiling the pathogenic, clinical and diagnostic aspects, underscored the need to understand how vaccine adjuvants are contributing to such serious adverse events such as narcolepsy that was linked to a new adjuvant in some flu vaccines.

The International ASIA Registry

The 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity announced that an official international ASIA registry would be established, and this registry officially opened in January of 2015. The registry is currently being used as a tool to analyze the nature and prevalence of autoimmune diseases throughout the world; with this data, researchers hope to learn more about the specific causes of autoimmunity. Currently, approximately 70% of registered cases followed administration of the Hepatitis B vaccination.

Animal studies have also demonstrated similar adverse autoimmune conditions upon overexposure to aluminum, such as general weakness and muscular atrophy in sheep. Research conducted by leading adjuvant researcher Christopher Shaw found that mice injected with aluminum at levels corresponding to what’s found in vaccines displayed social interaction deficits and elevated anxiety levels.

Find more information about the ASIA Registry and learn how to submit a case study here.


Neurodevelopmental Toxicity of Aluminum Compounds

How much do we know about aluminum? It has been used in various applications for the past 90 years, which would lead one to assume that it’s a safe and effective compound. However, this assumption has very little research backing its ‘beneficial’ use and quite a significant body of research describing its toxic effects on the brain and immune system. Parents, doctors and scientists are asking why it continues to be formulated in things like vaccines, infant formula and other ingestible sources?

Two researchers from Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute took a look at various aluminum sources and their adverse effects in an animal model and in humans.  The purpose of their study was to evaluate the effects of pediatric vaccine relevant quantities of aluminum adjuvants on cognitive, motor and behavioral function, as well as to evaluate biological and genetic changes that take place after injected exposures to aluminum adjuvants. By comparing the outcomes of the exposed mice to a control group that received a true inert saline placebo, the effects of aluminum in the vaccine schedule could be isolated and quantified. This study has provided significant evidence that aluminum is more harmful than the public has perceived it to be, and it is clear that aluminum is a dangerous neurotoxin.

In the research, Dr. Christopher Shaw and Dr. Lucia Tomljenovic studied a number of aluminum sources/compounds and how they affected the individual or animal that was exposed. In the chart of data they compiled, they noted the amount of aluminum found in standard infant feeding solution where premature infants were exposed to about ~20 μg/kg a day. The aluminum-formulated solution resulted in a reduced developmental attainment at the post-term age of 18 months compared to infants who were fed with aluminum-depleted solutions. This significant neurodevelopmental change is one of the many data sets found in the chart that compares the effects of non-aluminum compounds to aluminum-sourced compounds.

To support their findings, human exposure data included symptom changes for patients suffering from renal/kidney failure. These patients were exposed to to aluminum-tainted dialysis fluid while being treated for their condition. However, they discovered that the dialysis fluid actually made their symptoms much worse. Some of the noted symptoms after the aluminum-tainted dialysis fluid treatment began included:

  • Impaired concentration
  • Behavior changes
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Coma
  • Memory loss
  • Speech problems
  • And more

These symptoms were not present before the dialysis began and interestingly enough, the patients who suffered from these side effects took a turn for the better when aluminum was removed from the dialysis fluid. This key example is strong evidence that the aluminum-tainted dialysis fluid was the culprit behind the symptoms, yet the use of aluminum continues. Additionally, the researchers point out that aluminum has a great potential to act as a toxic co-factor in the onset of many neurodegenerative diseases like autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other conditions. With the large amount of scientific research outlining the adverse effects of aluminum, the compound should be given more scrutiny and oversight as its presence in medicines, vaccines and consumer products has increased significantly over the last three decades. As aluminum’s increased use has coincided with an increased rate of chronic illness and disability, and there is ample scientific evidence linking aluminum to immune and neurotoxicity, reconsidering its approval in products that humans use or consume could reduce the frequency of chronic illness cases.