Asperger Syndrome and Shingles

Sometimes people pass along misinformation as fact — sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally — and this misinformation leads others to draw incorrect conclusions about a diagnosis and how it affects those with the diagnosis.

Recently on Facebook, a self-diagnosed Aspie (someone with Asperger Syndrome) who previously claimed to be diagnosed with AS by a child formally diagnosed with AS, posted the following on Facebook.

Asperger Syndrome and Shingles_IMAGE

The misinformation that readers come away with from this person’s comments on Facebook are:

1.  Asperger Syndrome is a disease;
2.  Shingles is a co-morbid disease as a result of having Asperger Syndrome;
3.  Vaccines are ineffective as a result of having Asperger Syndrome;
4.  Asperger Syndrome is a result of a compromised immune system; and
5.  Shingles is a result of a compromised immune system.

In order to better understand how people can draw incorrect conclusions from this person’s comments, it’s important to understand some of the terms being used.

[quote] I have Aspergers It’s probably a comorbid [end quote]

The term co-morbidity arose in the early 1980s, and while it has no exact definition that is agreed upon, there is general consensus on what the term means.   The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) defines co-morbidity as being “associated with worse health outcomes, more complex clinical management, and increased health care costs” and is rooted in direct causation as well as associated risk factors.  For example, those who are diagnosed with chronic illnesses oftentimes also suffer from depression as a direct result of dealing with the chronic illness.

Could Asperger Syndrome and Shingles be co-morbidities?

Based on the definitions for Asperger Syndrome and Shingles, they would not be co-morbidities even though someone diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (or any other health condition) may also be diagnosed with Shingles.  This is the definition for Asperger Syndrome:

AS_Definition_IMAGE

And this is the definition for Shingles:

Shingles_Definition_IMAGE

Shingles is caused by a virus and not a developmental disorder.  Asperger Syndrome is a developmental disorder and not caused by a virus.  Those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (or any Autism Spectrum Disorder) are no more or less likely to develop Shingles than those who do not have Asperger Syndrome.  Those diagnosed with Shingles are no more or less likely to have Asperger Syndrome (or any Autism Spectrum Disorder).

[quote] Painful as crap but normal for my stupid immune system. [end quote]

Shingles can occur as a result of a compromised or suppressed immune system.  However, not all cases of Shingles are as a result of the person having a compromised or suppressed immune system.

Immune System_Definition_IMAGE

The statements made by this person, however, insinuates that Asperger Syndrome is also due to a compromised or suppressed immune system, which is incorrect.  Asperger Syndrome (or any Autism Spectrum Disorder) is not due to a compromised or suppressed immune system.

[quote]  The vaccine is not so effective with aspergers. [end quote]

Peer-reviewed studies have proven that certain chemicals can reduce the efficacy of vaccines.  Peer-reviewed studies have proven that giving an infant acetaminophen after an innoculation can reduce the efficacy of vaccines.  According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) insufficient amount of sleep can reduce the efficacy of vaccines.

There do not appear to be any research studies — peer-reviewed or otherwise — that prove that Asperger Syndrome causes reduced vaccine efficacy.

What does this mean?

There is no connection between Asperger Syndrome and Shingles.

A person with Asperger Syndrome (or any Autism Spectrum Disorder) can have Shingles, and a person without Asperger Syndrome (or any Autism Spectrum Disorder) can have Shingles.

Having Asperger Syndrome does not interfere with the efficacy of any vaccine(s).

Elyse Bruce
Founder and Creator
MIDNIGHT IN CHICAGO initiative

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