Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Vaccines cause “microvascular strokes” that cause autism?

I thought I had seen it all.

Ever since I first discovered the antivaccination movement that is utterly convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that mercury from the thimerosal preservative that was in many vaccines until the end of 2001 or, more recently, vaccines themselves cause autism, I’ve been amazed at the panoply of dubious ideas proposed about how vaccines might bring this about. There is, of course, the claim of neurotoxicity from mercury, even though the symptoms of mercury toxicity do not come close to matching those of autism. Then, of course, there is the related claim that somehow there are disorders in glutathione metabolism and mercury are involved, or that there are some sort of genetic predisposition to mercury toxicity or defects in mercury excretion that somehow let the tiny amount of mercury in vaccines to cause autism.There’s also the claim that somehow vaccines cause an immune reaction that does–well, something in the brain. Or, even more ridiculous from a scientific standpoint, there is the claim, promulgated by Mark and David Geier, that testosterone somehow binds to mercury in the brain and makes it inaccessible for chelation therapy to remove. The latest of these dubious scientific bits of handwaving designed to link vaccines somehow to autism is the claim that somehow mitochondrial disorders are related to autism in an attempt to rebrand autism. Never mind that there is no good scientific evidence to support any of these “explanations” linking vaccines to autism.

To match all this dubious science is a panoply of equally or even more dubious “treatments” for autism. As Kevin Leitch points out, there are at least 150 scientifically unsupported treatments for autism out there costing loads and loads of money. These range from total woo such as homeopathy to chelation therapy, to intravenous vitamin C, to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, to intravenous glutathione, to Lupron, to even energy medicine.

Time to make it at least 151, it would appear. Say hello to Dr. Andrew Moulden and his autism crankery:

A Canadian doctor, Dr. Andrew Moulden says he conclusively proved seven years ago that vaccines cause micro-vascular strokes. Dr Moulden has a 21 year record of award-winning medical study and practice starting at Nipissing University, but he has been unable to get the attention of the College of Physicians or politicians to investigate his findings, which have been corroborated by other doctors.

So who is Dr. Moulden? I had never heard of him before this, and, as I mentioned before, I thought I had heard it all. Apparently Dr. Moulden was a candidate for MP in Canada for the Canadian Action Party, a nationalist party that opposes globalization and free trade agreements. He’s also clearly a die-hard antivaccinationist. Just check him out hanging out with antivaccine luminaries Andrew Wakefield, Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Sheri Tenpenny, and Jenny McCarthy, and if that’s not enough, check out a video called Vaccine Holocaust on his website. First, let’s see what this great “discovery” is:

Dr. Moulden says the shots cause our body’s own immune systems to hyper-react as large white blood cells naturally rush to attack the foreign particles injected into our bloodstream. The white blood cells are too big to enter, so they surround tiny capillaries where the foreign particles land, clog and collapse the capillaries.

This cuts off pathways for the smaller red blood cells to carry oxygen to the organs near those capillaries that contain the foreign particles. When the particles float near the brain, this lack of blood supply can lead to autism, SIDS and many other diagnosed illnesses in both children and adults.

Our immune systems will continue fighting the particles leading to long-term or chronic illness. Different organs are affected depending on where the particles are, which leads to different symptoms and ‘disease’ names, but the basic causes are the same and before this discovery were unknown.

Oh. My. God. Is this guy serious?

Let’s parse what Dr. Moulden is apparently saying a moment before moving on. I’m don’t know for sure what he means by “large white blood cells,” but I assume that Dr. Moulden is referring to macrophages sitting out in the tissues, because other types of white blood cells, such as neutrophils and monocytes, reside mainly in the bloodstream and are not as large. It is known that monocytes can infiltrate brain tissue during tissue damage and that they can cause microvessel damage in a variety of conditions. Autism, as far as I can tell from reading the literature, is not among them.

Let’s look at this hypothesis a minute. It depends upon two concepts:

  1. That the pathogenesis of autism is a result of multiple “mini-strokes” in babies
  2. That vaccines result in the deposition of particles into the brain microvasculature sufficient to provoke an inflammatory infiltrate in the brain. These particles, according to Dr. Moulden.

Hhypotheses make predictions. Hypotheses are funny this way. Let’s see what we would expect to see if Dr. Moulden’s hypothesis were true. First, we have to consider where Dr. Moulden thinks these particles come from:

The main cause of the problem is the additives in the vaccines. The purpose of the additives is to generate a faster response from white blood cells. This works perfectly – white blood cells rush to the site of the introduced foreign matter – and that is the source of the problem. The white blood cells block the capillaries and also collapse them, trying to destroy the foreign matter.

He also has a video (don’t they all?):

Wow. That’s some serious woo. It’s got it all: Conspiracy theories, a dubious concept of autism causation, and a whole lot of Dr. Moulden.

Let’s get back to the predictions of his hypothesis. If Dr. Moulden’s hypothesis is true, the following evidence should be observed:

  1. There should be absolutely no evidence of autism before vaccination.
  2. There should be evidence of alterations in blood flow consistent with microvascular strokes
  3. In autistic children who die, sectioning of the brain should reveal evidence of vascular inflammation and small strokes.
  4. There should be evidence that vaccines form particles large enough to clog the microvasculature.
  5. There should be evidence that these particles derive from vaccine constituents
  6. There should be evidence that a pattern of ministrokes actually results in autism.

In actuality, the last prediction is incredibly problematic. There is no evidence linking this sort of “mini-stroke” to autism. Of course, every single one of these is problematic or dubious. In autopsy specimens, there’s no evidence of inflammatory reactions causing blockage of small vessels with clot leading to stroke, nor is there any evidence on MRI of such processes in the brains of autistic children. MRI should be able to pick such processes up. There’s especially no evidence that the additives in vaccines result in particles that block the microvasculature or provoke monocytes to swarm around small blood vessels and cause them to be blocked with clots due to an inflammatory reaction. (Virtually all blockages of small vessels due to inflammation are due to clots provoked by the inflammatory reaction.) And, of course, as has been discussed many times before, signs of autism can be observed as early as six months.

Of course, one thing that one needs to know about Dr. Moulden is that he loves to flaunt his degrees. He refers to himself as Dr. Andrew Moulden BA, MA, MD, PhD on his website. I mean, come on. I have an MD and a PhD, but you don’t see me listing my undergraduate degree or other degrees. The two highest degrees are enough. He’s also selling something called Brain Guard MD. What is Brain Guard? It’s described this way:

BrainGuard provides digital video and photograph based “video microscopy” to monitor and assess for clinically silent brain damage that causes, or has caused, neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, autism-spectrum, pervasive developmental disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, sudden infant death, infantile paralysis, Post vaccine syndromes (Gulf War syndrome, Guillain Barre syndrome, cognitive impairment…), seizure disorders, ischemic strokes, specific learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorders.

AMassNetwork IMAN-12 Membership available at ( You must have an AMassNetwork membership subscription in order Access/receive BrainGuard services and solutions.

Brain damage, especially vaccine and infectious disease induced brain damage, is clinically silent. Our proprietary techniques and technologies provide the means and methods to assess and monitor the integrity of the central nervous system from birth to adulthood with a non-invasive, cost-efficient, home based, video/photo solution for monitoring the integrity of the human brain across neurodevelopment.

There are three steps:

  1. Capture a 30 second video clip of the BrainGuard client – full face in view, eyes open, awake, alert, and responding/attending to the videographer.
  2. Login or Register with
  3. Follow instructions on how to upload your video/pictures to our secure servers.

 What Comes Next

We will process your submissions and inform, via email to your “IMAM-12” account the results of your BrainGuard scan(s). If we detect the MASS response (a medical emergency) one of our staff will contact you directly with what to do next.

If you are looking for proof causation of vaccine induced brain damage (including autism, Gulf War syndrome, Wrongful death, brain impairment…) – BrainGuard can provide these services and all inquiries.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds to me as though what Dr. Moulden is doing is taking videotapes of children, doing some sort of “scan,” and then coming up with a diagnosis of autism or “vaccine” injury–except that Dr. Moulden makes up a fancy name for it:

The process in the human body that causes autism-spectrum, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, sudden infant death, infantile paralysis, sudden death in childhood, vaccine and infectious diseases induced “M.A.S.S.” (Moulden Anoxia Spectra Syndromes) reactions are medical emergencies.

BrainGuard detects when an individual’s brain is being damaged by the “MASS” process (CNAPS MD’ Inc. proprietary information). This “hypersensitivity” response can now be blocked, in real-time, as soon as BrainGuard technologies detect the clinically silent signs of this process in your loved one.

Once the BrainGuard brain health screening technologies/services detect the MASS response, confirmation of the MASS process is achieved via bloodwork that can be completed at any hospital, physician, naturopathic doctor, or private laboratory services. This information is then used to direct the required “CPAN gels” BioCom (Biocompatible) intervention to block and reverse the MASS response that is/has caused injury to the nervous system and mammaliansystem organs and tissue.

BrainGuard can ALSO be used to determine if you or a loved one has been adversely affected by vaccine/infectious disease/pharmaceutical induced brain damage causing autism, learning and language disabilities, seizures, sudden infant death and “shaken baby syndromes”, post vaccination death, vaccine adverse reaction. This information can be used in Court to prove causation for vaccine/pharmaceutical product induced damages, autism-spectrum disorders, “Gulf War syndromes (re: vaccine caused), learning disabilities, and wrongful death.

BrainGuard detects the “signature” of the same process that caused heart attacks, strokes, and death from Vioxx – the anti-inflammatory from Merck Frost that was pulled from the market in 2004 by the Food and Drug Administration for “causing heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.”

I love it when a crank names a syndrome after himself. Particularly amusing is the complete classification system that Moulden has come up with. No lack of self-confidence there! It also sounds as though Dr. Moulden is claiming to provide “evidence” for lawsuits. Big surprise. He is. There’s also the issue of “clinically silent” signs of this so-called MASS syndrome. If it’s detectable by videos of the face, it’s not “clinically silent.” A clinically silent problem is just that: silent. It causes no symptoms and often no signs. Hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia, for instance, is a clinically silent problem. Only a blood test can detect it. Finally, even if Dr. Moulden were right, there’s no physiological reason to suspect that looking at videotapes of a patient’s face or analyzing them somehow would provide specific information to make such specific diagnoses. More importantly, even if autism were due to microvascular strokes, there’s a chance that anticoagulation and the use of steroids for the inflammation might block the process, but what Dr. Moulden seems to be recommending is some sort of woo machine on the order of a Rife machine, Hulda Clark’s parasite zapper, or other useless devices. He charges big bucks for his woo, too; for a mere $2,500 he will provide “forensic evidence” of vaccine industry.

Finally, despite his MD and PhD, Dr. Moulden appears not to have published his revolutionary work. A search of PubMed failed to find any articles by him about autism, cerebral blood vessels, vaccines, or any related topic. I’m sure it’s just The Man or microfascists keeping a brave maverick doctor down, and soon enough Dr. Moulden will be published in the highest quality journals. Of course he will, and if he’s not he’ll continue to point out just how persecuted he is by the medical establishment, just like all good cranks. He even tried to give his technology freely to the CDC, but those evil doctors weren’t interested:

Oh, great. He can cure prostate, cervical, and breast cancer, too. It’s all being suppressed by big pharma and big medicine, of course.

Clearly, Dr. Moulden, however promising an MD/PhD student he was in the past, has devolved into a crank. It’s all there, especially the grandiose thoughts and conspiracy theories. In fact, if you want to know just how much of a crank Dr. Moulden is, I’ll let you in on a little tidbit. Who, do you think, started out liking Dr. Moulden but now thinks he’s a “scam” and that someone is impersonating him? Take a guess.

John Best.

Dr. Moulden, take a clue: When someone as unbalanced as John Best thinks you’re a crank, you’ve plumbed depths of crankery that few pseudoscientists can even dream of plumbing. I’d suggest giving up now, before you’re made to look even more like a fool. In fact, you’re so far out in left field that even the merry band of credulous antivaccinationists at Age of Autism, who will embrace virtually any quack idea about, test to detect, or therapy for autism, as long as they can say it justifies their unshakable belief that vaccines cause autism, haven’t embraced you. That’s as telling as having someone like Best dismiss you as a scam.

I can only hope that Dr. Moulden is so off the wall that even antivaccinationists will realize that there’s nothing to back up his claims. Oh, wait. Antivaccinationists supported Mark and David Geier when they claimed that testosterone bound to mercury, keeping it from being chelated properly, and that the answer is to use powerful anti-testosterone drugs on children. Never mind.

Dr. Moulden will likely do quite the tidy business selling his useless test to the parents of autistic children who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

Comments are closed.