From the September 2008 Idaho Observer:
Latest study: A poor attempt to disprove MMR vaccine/autism link
Latest study: A poor
attempt to disprove MMR vaccine/autism link
Sept. 4, 2008—A study by the American Association of Pediatrics and Columbia University that was funded by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health was released today and published in the online journal, Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). The study was the result of a federally-funded initiative to address the hypothesis published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield, M.D. and others that some children who receive MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine develop inflammatory bowel disease and regressive autism due to persistent measles virus (MV) infection. Television, radio and print media nationwide immediately publicized the new study, "Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study," as additional proof that there is no connection between the MMR vaccine and the subsequent development of autism.
The researchers had three laboratories test the intestinal tissues of 25 autistic children, five of whom developed gastrointestinal (GI) and autistic symptoms after MMR vaccination, and confirmed the presence of measles virus RNA in one child with autism and one control case. Even though the study only included five children who were previously healthy before regressing into autism after MMR vaccination, it is being touted as concrete proof that MMR vaccine is not in any way involved in the development of regressive autism in previously healthy children.
There are several serious flaws in the study design itself which is a huge reason the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) refused to publish it.
National Vaccine Information Center director Barbara Loe Fisher stated, "While Wakefield may have imperfectly described the biological mechanism for development of MMR vaccine induced autism in 1998 (proposing a persistent measles virus infection in the GI tract that affected the brain), he certainly DID correctly report an association between receipt of MMR vaccine in previously healthy children and subsequent simultaneous development of serious bowel disease and autism. It was an important clinical observation and call for further research published in a respected medical journal (The Lancet) but one that Wakefield and his colleagues would pay for dearly. The hypothesis has been furiously denounced for a decade by mandatory vaccination proponents in government, industry and medical organizations in Europe and the U.S. as they scramble to defend aggressive one-size-fits-all MMR vaccine policies being used in measles eradication campaigns worldwide."
What vaccine safety advocates are asking for is more methodologically sound research. A good start would be a prospective case controlled study comparing immune and brain function of highly vaccinated children to that of unvaccinated children for a period of at least 10 years, which has been requested by parents of vaccine injured children for several decades.
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