Andrew Wakefield’s many statements that MMR causes autism

8 May

One of the themes that has grown in the past couple of years that Andrew Wakefield never said MMR causes autism. Rather, the story goes, he was a cautious researcher who merely reported what parents told him and called for more research to be done.

Here is an example by Mr. Dan Olmsted of the Age of Autism blog:

That Early Report – which appeared in 1998 in the Lancet, Britain’s other leading medical journal – noted that in eight of the 12 children (including Thomas’s), parents linked the onset of symptoms to the MMR shot, and it called for more research to see if a link in fact existed. It said no link to the MMR was established by the simple case series report.

Despite that cautious approach, the report and its aftermath sparked a firestorm that, fueled by Deer, ultimately led to Wakefield losing his medical license and to the Lancet retracting the report. Yet thousands of parents continue to support Wakefield and describe the same sequence of shot and symptoms as parents in the original case series. Mainstream media, medical groups, public health officials and pharmaceutical companies say any link has been discredited.

For those who have actually followed the Wakefield/MMR story, the idea that Mr. Wakefield’s approach could be described as “cautious” is difficult to swallow. The idea that the “firestorm” was fueled by Mr. Deer is an odd assertion at the best. Mr. Wakefield’s now-retracted Lancet paper was published coincident with an anything-but-cautious press conference in February 1998. Mr. Deer started reporting in the story in February of 2004. But this is off topic. Mr. Wakefield is repeatedly cited as merely calling “for more research to see if a link existed”.

Mr. Olmsted is not the only one to use the “only called for more research” theme. Dr. Bob Sears, for example, stated:

1. Dr. Wakefield’s study never claimed there was a link between the MMR and autism – it only suggested a possible correlation between the MMR vaccine triggering intestinal inflammation which seems to occur in some children with autism. He basically called for MORE research to be done on this.

To be fair, the “only called for more research” theme goes back quite a way. Here is a news story from 2003.

The problem for Mr. Wakefield’s supporters is that Mr. Wakefield did not limit his discussion to the Lancet. As already noted, he held a press conference to announce his results and has made many more statements over the years. More to the point, Mr. Wakefield *did* say that the MMR causes autism.

Here is a collection of Mr. Wakefield’s statements which range from suggesting a possibility that the MMR causes autism to outright claiming that he “has shown” that the use of the MMR vaccine causes autism.

Mr. Wakefield’s patent application states clearly and unequivocally that the MMR vaccines has “been shown” to cause “pervasive developmental disorder”:

“It has now also been shown that use of the MMR vaccine (which is taken to include live attentuated measles vaccine virus, measles virus, mumps vaccine virus and rubella vaccine virus, and wild strains of the aforementioned viruses) results in ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, chronic colitis and pervasive developmental disorder including autism (RBD), in some infants.”

And also

I have also found that regressive behavioral disorder (RBD) in children is associated with measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.

More examples include:

In the 1998 Lancet paper (now retracted), the MMR is referred to as one of the “the apparent precipitating events”

In sworn testimony in a congressional hearing Mr. Wakefield states that an “environmental insult” (previously discussed at length as vaccination) “in many children, clearly, the subset of autistics, it leads to gut infection and damage…”

So finally, in summary, we have an environmental insult in perhaps a genetically susceptible child. The problem is that if you go to Sweden now, autism affects over 1.2 percent of the pediatric population. So if there is a genetic background, it is clearly widely distributed within the population. We believe that in many children, clearly, the subset of autistics, it leads to gut infection and damage; that leads to an ingress, an impaired metabolism, degradation of these chemicals from the gut which then get through and impact upon the brain.

In the video for the press conference for his (now retracted) 1998 Lancet paper, Mr. Wakefield stated that the single (monovalent) vaccines are “safer than the polyvalent”. How can they be safer if there isn’t a proven link to autism?

My opinion, again, is that the monovalent, the single vaccines, measles, mumps and rubella, are likely in this context to be safer than the polyvalent vaccine.

and his feeling is that “the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine…”:

Again, this was very contentious and you would not get consensus from all members of the group on this, but that is my feeling, that the, the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines.

From the Power of One Idea” rally, Washington DC, April 21, 2002. Mr. Wakefield informs the public that public health officials have failed and “Among the reasons for this failure is the fact that they are faced with the prospect that they themselves may be responsible for the epidemic”:

We are in the midst of an international epidemic. Those responsible for investigating and dealing with this epidemic have failed. Among the reasons for this failure is the fact that they are faced with the prospect that they themselves may be responsible for the epidemic.

Therefore, in their efforts to exonerate themselves they are an impediment to progress. I believe that public health officials know there is a problem; they are, however, willing to deny the problem and accept the loss of an unknown number of children on the basis that the success of public health policy – mandatory vaccination – by necessity involves sacrifice.

Neither I, nor my colleagues subscribe to the belief that any child is expendable. History has encountered and dealt with such beliefs.

You, the parent’s and children, are the source of the inspiration and strength for our endeavours; our quest for truth through science – a science that is compassionate, uncompromising and uncompromised.

I do not mean to stir you to mutiny, but be assured that armed with this science it is in your power to force this issue, in your pediatricians office, in Congress, in the Law Courts.

Keep faith with your instincts. They have served you well.

From a news story (Shame on officials who say MMR is safe) in 2001, Mr. Wakefield is quoted discussing how there are “long-term adverse reactions that I believe we are now seeing”.

Our new paper is not anti-vaccine. It is about the safest way in which to deliver these vaccines to children in order to protect them against acute infectious disease and against the long-term adverse reactions that I believe we are now seeing

From a BBC news program in 2002. The regression following MMR is referred to as “not a coincidence”:

WAKEFIELD: .. these children received not one dose but three doses of the MMR vaccine, and what we see in many of these children is a double hit phenomenon. They regress after the first dose and then they regress further after the second dose. This child did not receive his first MMR vaccine until he was 4 years 3 months of age. He then deteriorated into autism, a disintegrative disorder. He then received his second dose at 9 years of age and disintegrated catastrophically. He became incontinent of faeces and urine and he lost all his residual skills. This is not coincidence.

This is not to be considered an exhaustive list. I won’t be surprised if more quotes from Mr. Wakefield are in the media. But these should suffice: Mr. Wakefield has, repeatedly, stated that MMR causes autism.

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81 Responses to “Andrew Wakefield’s many statements that MMR causes autism”

  1. Liz Hempel May 8, 2012 at 09:32 #

    Wakefield suggests it causes autism because it DOES cause Autism!
    Not only has the US vaccine compensation court actually awarded payment for vaccine induced autism in about 86 families (you read it correctly – 86!!), but now the Italian court has recently followed suit.

    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/italy-mmr-vaccine-causes-autism/

    How many more cases like this is it going to take before the medical community comes clean about a generation they helped to destroy?

    Utterly disgraceful blog. I have to ask, are you payrolled by Merck by any chance? One certainly has to wonder.

    • Sullivan May 8, 2012 at 14:16 #

      One doesn’t have to wonder as I’ve answered that question multiple times: no, I am not paid to write here.

      I would refer you to the Omnibus Autism Proceedings where the Wakekefield MMR hypothesis was presented at length. The special masters overseeing the hearings were very clear: the hypothesis is without merit.

  2. It was a witch hunt. May 8, 2012 at 14:16 #

    Wakefield, Murch and Walker-Smith have never said that MMR causes all autism or that MMR is solely responsible for the rise in autism. It is within national broadcasting and broadsheet journalism that these claims have been made.

    Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC, Dr Andrew Wakefield Autism MMR Film

    • Sullivan May 8, 2012 at 17:24 #

      “It was a witch hunt.”

      There are a number of straw man arguments in that short comment.

      1) I made no reference to Murch or Walker-Smith in the article above.
      1b) in fact, I’ve recently noted how Prof. Walker-Smith through his attorney made it clear that there is no evidence supporting Mr. Wakefield’s claims

      2) I didn’t say that Mr. Wakefield said that MMR was “solely responsible”. I did point out that there is a misconception being portrayed by Mr. Wakefield’s supporters (and, probably, Mr. Wakefield himself. I haven’t searched for his comments yet). Example, Dr. Sears: “Dr. Wakefield’s study never claimed there was a link between the MMR and autism”. With all due respect to Dr. Sears, he’s flat out wrong, as are the others who are pushing this idea.

      3) Brian Deer? What does he have to do with this, except that his site has good examples of the statements made by Mr. Wakefield?

      • Sullivan May 8, 2012 at 17:40 #

        Sorry,

        I shouldn’t have said that Dr. Sears was “flat out wrong”. He’s misleading. He’s focusing only on the study, and not what Mr. Wakefield has said publicly.

    • Sullivan May 8, 2012 at 20:37 #

      “It was a witch hunt”

      Not only did Simon Murch not say that the MMR causes all autism (again, a position I never made). He has also publicly stated that the MMR theory was incorrect

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/nov/01/highereducation.medicineandhealth

      In contrast, Dr Murch and his team have kept a low profile.

      All that changed yesterday, however, when Dr Murch published a strongly worded letter in the Lancet stating that there was no evidence of a link and warning of the likelihood of a measles epidemic because of the low rate of vaccination, which is down to 61% in some parts of London

      On Mr. Wakefield:

      “The problem is that he thinks there is a big conspiracy and people are selling out around him. He thinks if he stands still and holds firm, history will vindicate him,” said Dr Murch.

  3. Ren May 8, 2012 at 14:48 #

    So one Italian court case supersedes all American cases? Nice way of moving the posts. Why not link to the actual ruling instead of a blog that talks about the ruling? At least Sullivan linked to the actual statements so we could verify them ourselves. That’s one big problem for the anti-vax crowd. They link to each other instead of linking to the actual “evidence” they want to provide. They do a pubmed search for papers whose titles somehow validate their positions, but they don’t even bother reading the conclusions.

    So how many is it going to take? The answer is easy… A statistically significant number. One that is statistically different from the number of expected cases in the general population. That’s how many. Bring that number forth in a well-designed, peer-reviewed epidemiological study, and we can talk.

  4. MikeMa May 8, 2012 at 14:55 #

    Liz Hempel must have an alert for St Andy’s name at your blog (and likely several others). Aside from a handful of poorly designed and even more poorly received studies, all results find no link. Liz needs to find another deity. Wakefield lied. Wakefield committed fraud. It should be the end but as Ren says, those goalposts…

  5. lilady May 8, 2012 at 16:27 #

    Thanks Liz Hempel…for providing that link to the website that first “broke” that “landmark” decision from the Italian civil court.

    I first heard of the case when someone posted an article written in Italian on the Respectful Insolence blog…and someone else posted that same article on the Shot of Prevention blog. I commented about this decision on both blogs.

    We had a “rough translation” on the RI blog and noted that the judge’s decision was based on Wakefield’s bogus research and his statements that “associated” the triple antigen MMR vaccine with the onset of regressive autism.

    And, the purported onset of regressive autism after MMR vaccination reported in the Italian case is even more tenuous, and even more remote, than any of the cases that were heard in the vaccine court during the Omnibus Autism proceedings.

    No Liz, this is not a “landmark” decision for “your side”…it is a feeble attempt to revive a long since deader than dead argument…that vaccines cause autism.

  6. Science Mom May 8, 2012 at 16:31 #

    Not only has the US vaccine compensation court actually awarded payment for vaccine induced autism in about 86 families (you read it correctly – 86!!), but now the Italian court has recently followed suit.

    No, the U.S. NVICP has not awarded any compensation for “vaccine-induced autism” and an Italian court ruling that you don’t even provide the transcripts for does not “follow suit”. Your vapid accusation that this must be a pharma-funded blog because it doesn’t support your precious St. Andy is as pathetic as your understanding of autism, vaccines and court cases. Should we assume then that any blog supportive of St. Andy is funded by his interests?

  7. Chris May 8, 2012 at 16:55 #

    Ms. Hempel:

    Not only has the US vaccine compensation court actually awarded payment for vaccine induced autism in about 86 families (you read it correctly – 86!!),

    Can you please post the decisions from the US Vaccine Court? You can find them here. I just checked the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program statistics, and it says:

    **HHS has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination.

    Also, the MMR started to be used in 1971 in the USA. Could you please post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed papers showing there was a distinct increase of autism after 1971? Please make sure all of the papers are dated before 1997. The MMR vaccine was used for over twenty years before Wakefield started his research, so he must have had some references as a way to formulate his hypothesis.

    Thank in advance for coming up with that information.

  8. Passing Thru May 8, 2012 at 18:44 #

    And of course Mr Wakefield asserted that MMR causes autism in the UK class action lawsuit which failed in 2003, on advice from the plaintiff attorneys that their was insufficient evidence.

    Mr Wakefield’s role is at the center of efforts to bring a new lawsuit against the lawyers who brought the case based on his bogus claims. That lawsuit is being brought by plaintiffs in the original case, who say they were denied a chance by Wakefield’s activities.

    I’ve never entirely understood his recent efforts to deny that he said MMR causes autism. If he didn’t, we would have to ask the question, who did then?

  9. lilady May 9, 2012 at 00:39 #

    “It was a witch hunt”

    Hell no, it wasn’t.

    Here’s the YouTube website with Anderson Cooper’s 2-part interview where Cooper and Dr.Sanjay Gupta both question him about the 12 children study that was published/then retracted by the Lancet medical journal. Dr. Gupta (Part 2 Interview) at 3:20 minutes into the 7:20 minute Skype interview really “sticks it to Wakefield” about COIs…and Wakefield “loses it”.

    The “earlier” interviews and videos are in sharp contrast to later interviews where Andrew Wakefield does “damage control” and claims that he never linked autism to the triple jab MMR vaccine.

  10. Jones May 9, 2012 at 06:57 #

    Does anybody know a reference to where he denies it, in videos and articles. I have seen them, but I cannot remember where?

  11. Wendy Stephen May 9, 2012 at 09:10 #

    Does anybody know which brand of MMR vaccine was involved in the Italian court case?

  12. Science Mom May 9, 2012 at 13:34 #

    Wendy Stephen, I don’t know with certainty about the vaccine used in this particular case but GSK’s Priorix and Priorix Tetra are used in Italy.

  13. Julie Anderton May 10, 2012 at 22:58 #

    The exoneration of Prof John Walker-Smith

    The case against those such as John Walker-Smith, who sought to find out what was amiss, was characterised, Mr Justice Mitting said, by “inadequate and superficial reasoning and in many instances the wrong conclusions”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthadvice/jameslefanu/9149338/James-Lefanus-Doctors-Diary-The-exoneration-of-Prof-John-Walker-Smith.html#disqus_thread/

    • Sullivan May 10, 2012 at 23:11 #

      Julie Anderton,

      What did Justice Mitting have to say about Mr. Wakefield? (answer, of course, is nothing). I think Prof. Walker-Smith was very lucky that Mr. Wakefield chose to abandon his appeal. Had Mr. Wakefield appealed as well the GMC would likely have put up a real defense. Some of Justice Mitting’s comments were very wrong.

  14. Julie Anderton May 10, 2012 at 23:02 #

    http://www.cease-therapy.com

    Isotherapy treatment

    Using the causative substances as a homeopathic remedy, their profound toxic effects can be witnessed as the children begin to react to the remedies. The reactions on the isopathic remedies are so characteristic, that there can be no doubt about the existence of a link between the toxins as the cause and the development of Autism as its effects. In this way Dr. Smits discovered, step by step, why autism and other behavioral problems, with their specific developmental problems, have so dramatically increased over the last ten to twenty years. It also became clear that autistic children do not suffer from one single cause but from an accumulation of different causes.

    A very effective way to treat autism with amazing results.

    That is Dr. Smits’ conclusion after having seen over 300 cases of all levels of severity. In his experience autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70% is due to vaccines, 25% to toxic medication and other toxic substances, 5% to some diseases. With isotherapy (see below), a form of homeopathy using the causative substances themselves in homeopathic preparation, the toxic imprints can be erased.

    • Sullivan May 10, 2012 at 23:14 #

      Julie Anderton,

      what does this have to do with the discussion at hand? The answer, of course, is nothing. It’s spam. An advertisement for a way for people to be separated from their money. Repackaged homeopathy? Please.

      (note, this is in the wrong discussion. I meant to place this in the discussion where she posted the first of seven spam messages about her therapy)

      • Sullivan May 10, 2012 at 23:53 #

        I see my confusion now–

        Julie Anderton put the same comment on seven different articles here. Totally spam.

  15. Science Mom May 11, 2012 at 00:47 #

    CEASE; it would be a joke if people like you weren’t preying upon people’s desperation. Julie Anderton and others like you are vile, repugnant scammers.

  16. Sharon Morris May 11, 2012 at 01:08 #

    My mind is boggled that anyone can believe the crap espoused in Julie Anderton’s comment. You’d really have to limit your reading about ASD’s to some seriously bogus sources to buy it.

  17. Julian frost May 11, 2012 at 06:57 #

    @Julie Anderton,
    The fact that John Walker-Smith’s conviction and striking off were overturned means Sweet Fanny Adams for Wakefield. I blogged about this. If anything, it makes it worse for Wakefield. Walker-Smith’s appeal can be summed up as “I was duped by Wakefield”. He claimed that he acted in good faith and was totally unaware that Wakefield was engaging in research.

  18. Julie May 11, 2012 at 10:37 #

    Hi Sullivan,

    It’s not SPAM. I’m real, I’m a mother who is curing her son with homeopathy. Who have been doing CEASE therapy and seeing amazing results. I will give you 2 examples of other mothers who are reporting every detail of their kids’ treatment:

    http://alexautismoysurecuperacion.wordpress.com/

    http://ilovequeenanneslace.com/

    Real results, not blabla from people who don’t have kids with autism. Not useless dicussions of what researches were done properly or not. Not official palaver supposed to hide the truth because the Big Pharma spent 40 million euros in lobbying in Europe only.

    This is REAL life, sir.

    By the way, Dr. Wakefield gave an interview and explains everything and I’m absolutely sure of his innocence, like many people are.

    http://goldenhawkprojects.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/dr-andrew-wakefield-in-his-own-words.html

    What about you? Do you have kids with autism? Obviously not. If you do, you should try homeopathy because you could risk curing them 100% and having to admit the your opinion is WRONG!

  19. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 11:36 #

    Julie, you posted this exact same comment on another thread.
    (1) I answered you there.
    (2) You are spamming.

  20. MikeMa May 11, 2012 at 11:58 #

    Julie,
    Many here have kids with autism. Some are autistic themselves. Many also understand that causation does NOT equal correlation. Your intense attention to your child may provide the results you see. Time may be your friend. Homeopathy is a fairy tale.

    You cannot be curing anything or anyone with homeopathy because homeopathy does not do anything, cannot do anything.

    That you believe in Wakefield’s innocence in the face of real facts proving fraud surprises no one here. You could have professed a belief in santa clause, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy and garnered no extra ridicule.

  21. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 12, 2012 at 14:29 #

    I wish I could let go of the gnawing memory of my son’s HHE @ 2 months. Correlation does not equal causation, unless it is some piddly number in a research article that proves another “cause” of autism.

    My son received all his shots. That’s what “good” parents do.

    But still, I wonder. We don’t study individual differences that might determine susceptibility.

  22. Chris May 12, 2012 at 19:08 #

    But still, I wonder. We don’t study individual differences that might determine susceptibility.

    How? My son has a heart condition that shows up quite clearly with a echocardiogram. One particular heart muscle is the three times bigger than it should be. This, unlike autism, dsylexia or dyspraxia is quite clear to see, and will be soon dealt with by surgery.

    It is a genetic condition where for 80% of those with eighteen gene sequences (some mitochondrial) have been found. My son fell in to the 20%, since his genetic testing found none of the known sequences. So there are lots of other possible genetic reason, it is complicated.

    So how do you figure susceptibility for conditions that are diagnosed by behavior, and not something as obvious as extra muscle tissue?

  23. MikeMa May 12, 2012 at 19:17 #

    @usethebrains
    I am guessing that hhe is some health evaluation. I am not familiar with that acronym. What did it say that still gnaws at you?

    You seem to denigrate some research that says autism’s causes lie elsewhere. What study?

    I’m not sure what you are asking for in your pining for studying individual differences. A full genomic workup with an emphasis on what exactly? Vaccines cost pennies (most of them) and are massed produced bringing health to millions and keeping most childhood diseases at bay for those that have access. I’m not saying a complete genome scan at birth followed by an individualized health regimen for optimum life wouldn’t be ideal but realistically, it isn’t going to happen. 100% certainty is not available for human health.

  24. Marc Stephens Is Insane May 12, 2012 at 23:24 #

    MikeMa,

    Here’s something on HHE:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14741145

  25. MikeMa May 13, 2012 at 12:14 #

    Thanks MSII. Sounds horrible and thankfully rare.

  26. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 13, 2012 at 15:00 #

    @MikeMa:

    It was a hypotonic hyporesponive episode, a “brain swelling” that at the time would have been a compensable reaction had I not learned of the NVICP when my son was 7 years old, 4 years too late. I was, however, one of the 3000 who attempted appeals. It pissed me off so many wanna be scientists were pissing on my leg and telling me it was raining, ie, “correlation does not equal causation”. Even now I hear it in a nasal tone. An HHE is no longer a compensable reaction for some reason.

    Emily Willingham, a member of TPGA (Thinking Persons Guide to Autism) wrote a post on every “supposed” cause of autism, and it was quite lengthy. A lot of them were population studies, if I remember right. Like “living near a freeway increases your odds of having a child with autism”. It could be true, it could be bullshit. Statistics can be er, uhm, let’s say ‘magical’, and say just about anything you can pull out of your ass. Corn syrup, for instance http://grist.org/food/why-that-corn-syrup-and-autism-study-leaves-such-a-sour-taste/ (A post by Emily, who I have great respect for, but don’t always understand of agree with.)

    Excuse my nasty attitude. Must be menopause, which gives me frightening powers of bitchiness without caring, eh?

    Don’t confuse me with vaccine deniers. My son received all his shots, even though at the time of his DPT that causes the HHE, it would have been reason enough to medically excuse him from them for the rest of his days, but I didn’t know.

    I guess what bothers me most is people like me, who kind of question the vaccines ability to cause minimal brain damage, are immediately cast aside, and the same parroted answers are given, like I haven’t considered that…Sometimes science sounds just like woo in reverse.

    You can’t prove a negative anyhow, can you?

  27. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 13, 2012 at 15:11 #

    Regarding susceptibility, Hannah Polling is an example. Although it may or may not concern vaccines…Acrodynia is possibly not a reason, but a vehicle: we are profoundly complex.

    Should we not look for susceptibility? Just tell parents to shut up and take one for the Gipper? It’s hard to do when it is YOUR kid. And then you are told to shut up about it. Okay…

    I don’t believe in woo (much), but I do look at what people say.

    The revolving door of vaccine science and vaccine manufacturers doesn’t look that kosher, either.

  28. Chris May 13, 2012 at 17:51 #

    Hannah Poling has a mitochondrial disorder. Are you suggesting that every child get a full genetic screen right after birth? Despite news to the contrary, those still cost around ten thousand dollars, especially if you include the mitochondrial (my son’s cost close to $4000, and they were only looking for 18 known sequences, some of them mitochondrial, and it came out negative).

    And there is still lots of research to find all of the other gene sequences that cause 20% of my son’s heart condition. There have to many many many more that cause neurological issues.

  29. Chris May 13, 2012 at 18:14 #

    I should mention that the genetics doctor specializes in autism and other neurological genetics. She really (and I mean really!) encouraged us to get a full genetic scan. But since it was not medically indicated, and was only to satisfy curiosity (hers mostly) I figured it was not going to be covered by our health insurance. So I declined.

    I did say she was welcome to his blood samples for any future research (that was paid from a grant, not us).

    By the way, I made an assumption that you were thinking of genetic screening when you asking that susceptibility be looked into. You never did answer my question of how that was to be done.

  30. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 14, 2012 at 13:11 #

    Diane, I know of you, and what you have done. You have a heart for our kids. Sometimes, kindness and understanding is all they need, and forgiveness for being human. My son is 18 now, his public school days are over. He is going to tech. I tell you what I did, I raised him according to the gospel of Temple Grandin. We ended up homeschooling the last couple years, and entering him into Tech school, which he loves. No ritalin for homeschoolers…I know for a fact it is why many do homeschool their kids. If they ain’t good enough for public school, there are other ways.

    Chris, I couldn’t afford genetic testing, either. My son has skin anomalies that might indicate Neurofibromatosis or Tuberous Sclerosis. Because there isn’t much we could do medically , we didn’t bother shelling out the bucks, either. I hope to God that it doesn’t turn out to be the wrong decision.

    Funny you should mention blood samples. How many rare diseases are children “pricked” for at birth? (Thirty or there abouts.) Many of them are genetic. I don’t feel like looking it up, I don’t have to prove I’m right. Kids can be treated FROM BIRTH for debilitating diseases that at one time led to death, like Phenylketinuria. If we weren’t using so damn much time finding epidemiological (magic number) studies, we might have found a difference, something, in the billion dollar gravy train that is science’s answer to autism, ie, “Gosh, we still don’t know…, but it isn’t vaccines!”

  31. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 14, 2012 at 13:23 #

    Also, within the issue of what “might” cause autism, it seems it is always with the parameters of whatever medical equipment you have in your research lab.

    Perhaps if the mitochondrial research guild had, in a stroke of good luck, the exact equipment needed to determine the mitochondrial misadjustment that led to vaccine damage, or whatever epigentic outlier it was…we would be more aware of concerns.

    (Be aware I make shit up and don’t spell very well, either. )

  32. Roger Kulp May 14, 2012 at 13:44 #

    I think a full genetic testing ought to be required after children receive an autism diagnosis.The more comorbid conditions,or the more severe the autism,the greater the need for such screenings.Doctors need to push for it,stress it as medically necessary,and do whatever it takes to get insurance to cover it.Nobody should have to struggle,like I did,for decades with only autism,and other learning and developmental diagnoses,and not know the cause of all the medical issues that can go with it.

    If a child is found to have metabolic disease,which is what mitochondrial disease is,treating that will go a long way in reducing the severity of the autism,and other brain related issues.It will prevent future regressions,and vastly improve the child’s quality of life.

    A really good doctor,who is up on all the latest research,would have an idea to pick and choose what genes and conditions to test for.The trouble is,there are still too few doctors,like those at Cleveland Clinic,or Arkansas Children’s who understand these diseases.

  33. Chris May 14, 2012 at 14:37 #

    Since my son has both neurological issues along with the cardiology ones, the genetics doctor was very interested in the possibility of if they were genetically related. But, still, it is costly and there is still lots to learn. Genetic testing is not a panacea.

  34. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 14, 2012 at 17:12 #

    Chris and Roger:

    I will confess to you both, I would be enormously relieved to know if my son had NF or TS. After reading our insurance, there may be a chance it would cover genetic testing. The trick is finding a doctor who would help me get there without giving up my son’s college fund. It is a painful decision. Most doctors know so little about it…we also went to a specialized autism clinic who sent us to the original geneticist. That was years ago and miles away.

    Chris, bless your child’s heart…I hope you find the answers he needs. Maybe you are like me and can’t afford to go into bankruptcy for a fishing expedition.

  35. Chris May 14, 2012 at 17:52 #

    The cardiologist referred us to the genetics doctor, who is based at the medical school at a large university. And, yeah, those college tuition payments have higher priority. My son gets disability services at a community college.

  36. Chris May 14, 2012 at 17:57 #

    Oh, and good luck to your son when he starts school. These kids do change, if not a bit slowly. I describe my son as a fifteen year old in a 23 year old body.

    And at least the genetics stuff is always changing. It was only about five years ago that they found the first gene sequence that causes his heart condition, now it is at least eighteen.

  37. usethebrainsgodgiveyou1 May 14, 2012 at 20:36 #

    Chris, I just want to add he’s about 5 years younger than your son. He “may” qualify for disability services at the Tech school he goes to, if the dumb psych who did the testing lets us know…He left school and was homeschooled 2 years, and started tech.He will get his GED this summer. We had a good talk about genetics today because of this discussion, Ben was adopted at birth, so it’s a little sketchy.

    Parenthood is so much fun! I was hurt when he was given a label at age 3, but he is exactly the child I would have chosen. It’s never been easy, but it’s never been boring!

  38. Chris May 14, 2012 at 20:51 #

    Good luck with everything. My son had an IEP all through high school, so that helped. The disability services at community college are mostly in regards to testing (unlimited time in the testing center).

    And no, it is never boring. He has made me a much more relaxed parent with his younger siblings.

  39. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 10:10 #

    Chris May 8th, 2012 16:55:13 says:

    “the MMR started to be used in 1971 in the USA. Could you please post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed papers showing there was a distinct increase of autism after 1971? Please make sure all of the papers are dated before 1997.”

    It is well over time for that misleading factoid to be put to bed.

    Chris confuses a number of things. An MMR vaccine was first licensed in the US in around 1971. MMR vaccine does not appear to have come into widespread use in the USA until 1984.

    So Chris, can you please post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed papers showing there was a distinct increase in the use of MMR vaccine immediately after 1971. And how many doses were administered compared to the single measles vaccine between 1971 and 1984.

    Many thanks in advance.

  40. Science Mom May 16, 2012 at 20:48 #

    Chris confuses a number of things. An MMR vaccine was first licensed in the US in around 1971. MMR vaccine does not appear to have come into widespread use in the USA until 1984.

    Funny you should ask for a citation when not only did you not provide one but your information is incorrect.

    “The combined MMR vaccine was licensed for use in the United States in 1971, and over the remainder of the 1970s, almost
    completely replaced use of the individual measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines for routine immunization of young children.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11231748

  41. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 21:17 #

    Thanks Science Mom [May 16th, 2012 20:48:55].

    The paper you cite does not appear to provide a reference for the claim regarding MMR I usage pre 1970. So there seems to be nothing provided by way of evidence for it. Unless we are missing something? The paper also addresses California between 1980 and 1994, so omitting all of the 1970s.

    Do you happen to have any other reference? Preferably one providing figures for the 1970s uptake of MMR I compared to single measles?

    The paper cited also confirms the composition of the vaccine changed – again seemingly providing no source. So if one is to be scientific about this, assuming the authors have the dates correct [which does not seem to be possible to check from the paper cited] one in any event cannot compare the pre 1980 position with the post 1979 as the composition of the vaccines was different.

    Additionally, we now know as confirmed by 1) Mercks’ current Director of Vaccines Division when Director of the CDC on national US broadcast TV 2) the US HRSA to CBS News 3)by the US DHHS experts in conceding the Hannah Poling case that is it not just the MMR vaccine which can cause and has caused autistic conditions. References found here:

    http://tinyurl.com/cr4rghf

    So just as a side matter, the cited paper is confounded. It should of course look at all aspects of the various vaccine programmes and investigate all changes during the period 1980-1994.

    Hope that helps and look forward to a reference to back up the claims in the paper you cited. Perhaps there is something somewhere else? You know how flaky much of the published medical journal evidence base is these days.

    • Sullivan May 16, 2012 at 21:35 #

      Mr. Miller,

      “The paper you cite does not appear to provide a reference for the claim regarding MMR I usage pre 1970.”

      Perhaps because that isn’t the claim, nor is it the question you posed.

  42. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 21:50 #

    Matt Carey [Sullivan] May 16th, 2012 21:35:38

    Says:

    But it is. The question posed was:

    The problems are that:

    1) the paper cited appears to provide no source for the claim cited by Science Mom;

    and

    2) Chris has provided no citation either.

    If this could be addressed that would be greatly appreciated as currently there is no evidence-based source to support the claim being made.

  43. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 21:53 #

    Aha, Matt Carey [Sullivan May 16th, 2012 21:35:38].

    Is it this which might have led to any confusion?

    1970 should of course read 1980. Our apologies. But is there something else which requires clarification regarding the question posed?

    • Sullivan May 16, 2012 at 22:15 #

      Mr. Miller,

      The paper ScienceMom cited was from “Immunization Branch, California Department of Health Services”. They stated in a peer reviewed paper that

      “The combined MMR vaccine was licensed for use in the United States in 1971, and over the remainder of the 1970s, almost completely replaced use of the individual measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines for routine immunization of young children.”

      Your request has been fulfilled. If you doubt that the Immunization Branch of the CDPH has the data, feel free to contact them and get back to us.

      As ScienceMom correctly points out, you made an unsupported assertion yourself. I would ask you to keep to a single standard for yourself and others, but history teaches that is not to be the case. When you get the information to back up your claim, come back and tell us. I expect a long wait.

  44. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 22:21 #

    Oh dear, it looks like the posting has come out garbled.

    This is what it should say:

    < Matt Carey [Sullivan] May 16th, 2012 21:35:38

    Says:

    <>

    < But it is. The question posed was:

    <>

    So the problems with the responses provided are that:

    1) the paper cited appears to provide no source for the claim cited by Science Mom;

    and

    2) Chris has provided no citation either.

    If this could be addressed that would be greatly appreciated as currently there is no evidence-based source to support the claim being made. >

    Hope that clarifies it all.

    [And we are sure your Mr Miller will be delighted to be credited by you with the ChildHealthSafety website, which we have to say is quite superb [but we would].]

    • Sullivan May 16, 2012 at 22:25 #

      Mr. Miller,

      it clarifies that you are still using the same tactics of deny and creating noise. Your statement (1) is demonstrably false.

      Should Mr. Miller enjoy being associated with that website, that is his choice. A poor one.

      Good day. Until you back up your own assertions in this discussion, you are done.

  45. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 22:37 #

    Matt Carey [Sullivan May 16th, 2012 22:15:42]

    Perhaps this might help from the US CDC, which suggests MMR even by 1978 had not taken over from the single measles vaccine in the USA and that it was not until 1989 that the preference for MMR was expressed by the AAP. This also of course further confounds the paper cited by Science Mom. Nothing from Chris [yet].

    < During 1978, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW) initiated a Measles Elimination Program with the goal of eliminating indigenous measles from the United States by October 1, 1982. The three components of this program were a) maintenance of high levels of immunity with a single dose of measles vaccine, b) enhanced surveillance of disease, and c) aggressive outbreak control. As a result of this program, the number of cases reported annually decreased from 26,871 during 1978 to 1,497 during 1983. However, an average of 3,750 cases was reported each year during 1984-1988; 58% of these cases occurred among children aged greater than or equal to 10 years, most of whom had received only one dose of measles vaccine (9). Recurrent measles outbreaks among vaccinated school-aged children prompted both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1989 to recommend that all children receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine, preferably as MMR. Although administration of the second dose was originally recommended either at entry to primary school (ACIP) or middle/ secondary school (AAP), ACIP, the AAP, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) now recommend that a child receive the second dose before school entry, rather than delaying it until the child is aged 11-12 years.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00053391.htm

    We also trust the clarification/correcting posting prior to this one has been received?

    Just in case here it is:

    __________________________________
    Oh dear, it looks like the posting has come out garbled.

    This is what it should say:

    < Matt Carey [Sullivan] May 16th, 2012 21:35:38

    Says:

    <>

    < But it is. The question posed was:

    <>

    So the problems with the responses provided are that:

    1) the paper cited appears to provide no source for the claim cited by Science Mom;

    and

    2) Chris has provided no citation either.

    If this could be addressed that would be greatly appreciated as currently there is no evidence-based source to support the claim being made. >

    Hope that clarifies it all.

    [And we are sure your Mr Miller will be delighted to be credited by you with the ChildHealthSafety website, which we have to say is quite superb [but we would].]

    • Sullivan May 16, 2012 at 22:43 #

      In response to your not approved comment, Mr. Miller–no, this does not support your point. Good day.

  46. ChildHealthSafety May 16, 2012 at 23:04 #

    Thanks Matt.

    Editing out the sense of a comment you cannot answer is interesting behaviour.

    Not posting comments including one which provides the US CDC as a source confirming you and your colleagues here appear to be putting out completely incorrect information to pursue an agenda is also very interesting. And when that information is corrected you ensure that fact is suppressed.

    Now, which US government committee is it you have been appointed to?

    Shouldn’t they have independent objective mature people on those committees who have high standards of conduct?

    Now that will make people wonder exactly why you were appointed instead of objective independently minded people. And they will also wonder what kind of input you have to that committee. And they may also wonder if you do the same kinds of things sitting on that committee that you do on LBRB with information.

    Thanks again Matt that is a real treat. And too late to change anything. You can be sure someone somewhere has captured the evidence already.

    No need to post this comment. We know you will read it and even if you don’t everyone can be sure you got it.

    muchas gracias

    • Sullivan May 16, 2012 at 23:53 #

      Mr. Miller,

      your response was about as predictable as could be.

      Now all can see this and the comment I held back. Apparently you expect people to believe that “a single dose of measles vaccine” is the same thing as “a dose of single measles vaccine”. Which it isn’t. Prior to the 1990’s, the Unites States had only a single dose of measles containing vaccine on the schedule.

      You appear confused by why I have broken with my standard policy in referring to you by name rather than by your pseudonym. The answer is that your use of “childhealthsafety” is repugnant, given the fact that your efforts are in direct opposition to children’s health and safety. Nothing more.

  47. Ren May 17, 2012 at 00:30 #

    This is rich. Mr. Miller must think we’re idiots. He must think that we can’t scroll up and read his comments and the answers to his comments.

    “Do you happen to have any other reference? Preferably one providing figures for the 1970s uptake of MMR I compared to single measles?”

    This question was answered, over and over. Mr. Miller moves the goalposts, again, thinking we must be idiots and unable to scroll up.

    And then the threats? Delicious. Textbook anti-vaxer.

    • Sullivan May 17, 2012 at 00:56 #

      “And then the threats? Delicious”

      He does take himself rather too seriously, doesn’t he.

      Another classic tactic is the “I know you are going to read this, if no one else”. People who do that are asking to be put into the spam bucket directly, rather than the moderation queue. For now, that’s where he is.

    • Sullivan May 17, 2012 at 01:23 #

      “He must think that we can’t scroll up and read his comments and the answers to his comments.”

      This is a repeat performance for him. During discussions of Andrew Wakefield, he cherry picked quotes out of the transcripts. When the quotes were put back in full context it was clear that the reality was 180 degrees opposite to his points. When these actions were pointed out he would ignore them. He can go around and around forever. One can see that clearly in his CDC citation which doesn’t make his point at all, and his denial of the paper posted by ScienceMom which does make her point.

      With that experience in place, I see no need for a repeat performance. I certainly see no point in allowing someone to threaten me.

  48. Chris May 17, 2012 at 00:36 #

    Let me pile on with this:

    Their MMR vaccine was licensed in 1971, alongside the individual vaccines. Merck soon became the only domestic supplier of MMR vaccine in the USA. Since low coverage rates had long been a matter of concern in the USA the combination vaccine had particular advantages, and MMR began to be used routinely by the mid 1970s.

    There is not so much as a citation, since the use of the MMR over a single measles vaccine is a matter of policy, which are not often indexed in PubMed. Plus the ACIP minutes from the 1970s would be archived on paper, not on the internet. And the lack of vaccination in the USA prior to the 1990s was due to lack of public funding because of no national health policy (something that was somewhat rectified after the 1990 epidemic with the VFC).

    But still, Mr. Miller, my question was for documentation that dated before 1997 of an increase of autism in the USA coinciding with the MMR vaccine. If you were correct, then it would have shown a sharp increase in 1984.

    So do you have the citations that would have prompted Wakefield’s research trying to connect autism with MMR? Because all subsequent studies show no real connection (starting with a 1999 paper by a Royal Free researcher, Brent Taylor), and for all we know Wakefield only became interested because of a lawyer.

  49. ChildHealthSafety May 17, 2012 at 00:54 #

    Matt Carey [Sullivan May 16th, 2012 23:53:36]

    Thanks Matt,

    The point Chris was trying to make is that the .

    You have helped clear up that there appears to be no public record of when it was that MMR replaced the single measles vaccine in the USA or whether it did at all in the period 1971-1984.

    Neither you, nor Chris nor Autism Mom have established any year that MMR had replaced the single measles vaccine in the USA or that it was in widespread use prior to 1980 compared to the single vaccine.

    You have also helped demonstrate that at least one member of the US InterAgency Autism Coordinating Committee changes data. Thanks again for editing out yet a third time the information in the posting. It is sweet. Leaving in the introductory words and the chevrons where the deleted text was is a nice touch.

    Give our regards to Tom Insel next time you see him. And tell him the lawn needs a bit of more water.

    Thanks also for the ad hominems. Its always nice to get them. Shows how much more reasonable the other guy is and a sure sign of a lost argument.

    [And we are sure your Mr Miller will be delighted to be credited by you with the ChildHealthSafety website, which we have to say is quite superb [but we would].]

    • Sullivan May 17, 2012 at 06:57 #

      It’s always interesting to see what people write when they are told that their comments are being held back. Comments often ramp up the provocation with a hope to get approved. Mr. Miller has gone from threats to accusing me of editing his comments. Why would anyone edit his comments? He does more to prove my points all on his own than I could do.

  50. MikeMa May 17, 2012 at 01:40 #

    Anti-vaxers like Miller hate when St Andy is shown for the fraud he was and is. Child health indeed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] Andrew Wakefield did indeed state many times that the MMR vaccine causes autism. Anti-vaccine advocates like to twist words around. Just because he didn’t say “MMR [...]

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    [...] What did Wakefield say or do? Although his followers like to claim that he never associated the MMR vaccine with autism, he associated the MMR with autism: [...]

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    […] gain in stating that the MMR vaccine caused autism? (And, let me be absolutely clear, he did say it, no matter how much anti-vaccine activists say he didn’t.) For starters, he was hired by a […]

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