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Vijendra K. Singh



Vijendra K. Singh, Ph.D., is a neuroimmunologist and research associate professor at Utah State University. Singh's research had focused on possible autoimmune mechanisms of pathogenesis of autism and autoimmune therapy for patients affected by autism spectrum disorders. He is considered by anti-vaccine campaigners to be a pioneer in his field and an international authority on autoimmunity and autism.

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Research focus

Dr. Singh has over 20 years experience in neurobiology and immunology research, beginning at the BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he focused on neurochemistry and began delving into the immunology of the nervous system. After moving to the United States, Singh continued researching central nervous system disorders at the University of Michigan, focusing specifically on autism, autoimmunity in autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. His research has led him firmly to the conviction that up to eighty percent of the cases of autism are caused by an abnormal immune reaction, commonly known as autoimmunity, rather than simply genetics.

Singh was also one of many scientists to propound the notion that diet may impact cognitive function, and to recommend dietary interventions to mitigate psychiatric disorders. Only recently has the immune system been recognized to have profound affects all other body systems, thanks to pioneers including Singh.

Singh has authored over one hundred scientific publications, and has made presentations before a congressional oversight committee and numerous conferences.

Finding the cause of autism

What the causes of autism spectrum disorders are not known. Singh was one of the first to conduct research based on the hypothesis one of the primary triggers of autism pathology may involve faulty immune regulation, in particular, autoimmunity.

In 1992, Singh conducted a study which linked autism to heightened autoimmunity, finding autistic children have about an eight times greater incidence of antibodies to myelin basic protein (MBP) than control children.

Singh published a study, in 2002, suggesting that MMR-vaccinated children have abnormally high levels of measles virus antibodies, indicating autism may be a neuro-immune response to the vaccine. Singh found that 55% of autistic children developed their condition after receiving the MMR vaccine and 33% after receiving the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccine. Singh also found auto-antibodies in 80% of autistic children, while normal children had none. These auto-antibodies appear to attack the protective myelin sheathing of nerve fibers, resulting in brain dysfunction.

Singh's work, however, was criticized by an expert panel commissioned by the UK Department of Health, which identified what it said were serious defects, and concluded that his research findings "do not support a role for MMR in the pathology of autism".[1]

In 2004, Singh published a paper with a colleague investigating suspicions that the mercury preservative thimerosal in vaccines may be a cause of autism. They concluded that thimerosal "is likely not" related to autoimmune aspects of the disorder, but did not rule out the possibility.[2]

Advocacy

Singh sits on the medical advisory board of Fight Autism Now, an advocacy group dedicated to educating medical professionals, politicians and the public about the roles autoimmunity and toxins play in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders. Singh serves on the scientific board of The Autism Autoimmunity Project and was instrumental the founding of the organization, which is attempting to raise money to allow Singh and others to continue autism research.[3]

Singh has continued his autism advocacy efforts since leaving the autism research field, indefinitely, for lack of funding caused by fallout from the acrimonious vaccine controversy, according to Raymond Gallup, founder of TAAP.

Recognition

In 2002 Singh received an O. Spurgeon English Humanitarian Award in recognition of his contributions to human welfare.[4]

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vijendra_K._Singh". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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