23 October 2009
Dystonia after flu shot? Yes. Caused by it? No.
The video is of a news story about a young woman who seemed to develop a rare and strikingly unusual neurological disorder after receiving a seasonal flu shot (not swine flu shot). Her syndrome was one of dystonia (muscle spasms/contractions) that impaired ambulation (but not running) and disappeared when her ambulation was backwards. Most unusual - but not impossible.
A causal relationship to vaccination was raised because other neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome have been documented in association with influenza vaccinations (and with influenza itself).
Addendum: One of the citations offered by Jacob in the comments section is from a thoughtful article in the Milwaukee Examiner which discusses the possibility that the dystonia is real, but that it is psychogenic in origin rather than vaccine-mediated. If you watch the video, you should also read this article.
Video via Arbroath.
Addendum: I received this comment from the author of the Milwaukee Examiner article: "Hi. I'm the author of the Examiner.com article you linked to. Thanks for the link. I think that this is very much up in the air, and I hope I made that clear by using "may" instead of "does", or other definitive words. Nonetheless, the risks from the flu outweigh the risks from the vaccine, and people should consult with their health care providers before blindly following the advice of starlets or other famous people."
Second addendum: More details were found re her case, and now she reports having been "cured" by a doctor known to use urine injection therapy and other nonconventional interventions. See the link at scienceblogs for an extensive discussion.
Third addendum: Additional followup and discussion at NeuroLogica blog.