Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

New US study supports Wakefield's findings

(42 Posts)
bubbleymummy Fri 27-May-11 21:26:32

Here I have limited Internet access at the moment so I can't really read up much more about it but I'd be interested to see what you all think.

darleneoconnor Fri 27-May-11 21:39:41

poor Andrew Wakefield

silverfrog Fri 27-May-11 21:44:04

I saw your link on the other thread, bubbley. thank you for that - will check it out <am also a bit on/off here at the moment - am recovering form wisdom teeth removal, and various other ailments too...>

meditrina Fri 27-May-11 22:03:55

This university has been publicising since 2006 partial results showing vaccine strain measles in the gut of approx 85% of patients with regressive autism eg here.

The research has yet to be published in a peer reviewed journal.

I wonder why this is being given prominence now?

bubbleymummy Sat 28-May-11 07:27:01

Ow silverfrog! I had that done in my teens. I looked like a hamster for about a week sad hope you feel better soon.

Meditrina, I'm not sure. I was googling something else and it came up with yesterday's date so I thought it was something being newly released.

meditrina Sat 28-May-11 08:15:53

It has been in the press again - but yesterday's article doesn't carry the date of research. I googled the university's name + MMR and found a number of articles going back to 2006. They all appear to be using the similar statistics on (70 out of 82, still to test the rest of the 325 potential subjects).

Until the study is complete and peer-reviewed, be cautious.

bubbleymummy Sat 28-May-11 10:30:41

Don't worry, I don't take the Daily Mail as gospel smile As I said, I have limited Internet access so I couldn't go hunting for more reliable sources. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

onagar Sat 28-May-11 10:42:15

It will be interesting to see the reaction from those in authority. Given that they treated Wakefield as guilty of blasphemy.

For me it doesn't matter if Wakefield was right in suspecting a link - he might be a crap researcher for all I can tell. More important and more informative was the rush to silence him and to manufacture evidence to discredit him. That to me suggests that someone's profit margin/political career was threatened.

g33k Sun 29-May-11 22:46:09

This looks old. Though there's no date on the article searching the Daily Mail site reveals a date of the 2nd of November 2009 (though that could be a "last updated" date). This article gives a date of the 30th of June 2006.

It worries me that there's no mention of a control group (i.e. non-autistic children) against which they would have compared the prevalence of measles (assuming that this was actually the focus of the study — I haven't actually found a copy of it yet). It should be noted that Dr Walker is not quoted in the article as describing the provenance of the measles, or saying that their findings support those of Wakefield (go back and read it carefully!).

Indeed, this article in Clinical Psychiatry News quotes Dr Walker as saying "We haven't done anything to demonstrate that the measles virus is causing autism or even causing bowel disease. We have simply shown that there is measles virus in the guts of a large number of children who have regressive autism," This suggests that the Daily Mail are irresponsibly misrepresenting the original study.

Finally, Ben Goldacre writes about two similar studies that "found no evidence of the vaccine-strain measles RNA to implicate MMR", yet went unreported in the mainstream media.

bubbleymummy Mon 30-May-11 08:16:22

g33k, but Wakefield didn't claim that the mmr caused autism either. His case series just found measles in the guts of autistic children and he said more research was needed. If this study also found measles in the guts of a much larger group of autistic children then that supports Wakefield's initial findings. I don't think it proves that the mmr causes autism but it does seem to show that something is going on and I sincerely hope they find a way to identify that group of children who are more likely to be affected.

g33k Mon 30-May-11 09:27:00

But it doesn't show that in any reliable way. This story and a similar one in the Telegraph (29th May 2006) were both based (to quote Ben Goldacre) "on a poster presentation, at a conference yet to occur, on research not yet completed, by a man [Krigsman] with a well-documented track record of announcing research that never subsequently appears in an academic journal." Page 100 of the INSAR conference programme shows Krigsman's name alongside Walker's as being authors on the poster that generated these news stories.

Soon after, Walker distanced himself from the Mail's interpretation, warning "against making the “leap” to suggesting that the measles vaccine might actually cause autism." From the press release:

"""
Walker says the new research does not support the connection, and he notes that the results have not even been published in a peer-reviewed journal. “Even if we showed association (between measles virus and bowel disease) and we published it in a peer-reviewed journal, the conclusion will be simply that there is measles virus in the gut of a large number of children who have regressive autism and bowel disease. End of story."
"""

In the Cedillo case (parents sue state for compensation claiming vaccination brought on autism). The transcript records that "two of respondent’s experts, Dr. Ward and Dr. Bustin, each pointed to a number of flaws in the Walker study, based on the description in the poster presentation.". The judge concluded thusly: "After consideration of the Walker study and the testimony about it in the record of this case, however, I conclude that the study does not provide any substantial support to the proposition that the measles virus persists in the bodies of Michelle Cedillo or any other autistic individuals." and didn't uphold the plaintiffs' claim. Page 64 onwards is a good place to start reading.

In short, this news story is old, and it misrepresents some unpublished findings that have little weight. As mentioned in my previous post, there were two studies that were published that "found no evidence of the vaccine-strain measles RNA to implicate MMR" yet went unreported.

[NB. A lot of the sources for this post were found in this blog post, and I am grateful to the author for their time in collecting this information.]

bigfatcath Wed 01-Jun-11 16:32:21

Well said g33K.

bubbleymummy Thu 02-Jun-11 13:17:56

G33k, all it means is that the daily mail were wrong to make a jump between this research and MMR causing autism. Wakefield didn't say that either. Walker said:
"..the conclusion will be simply that there is measles virus in the gut of a large number of children who have regressive autism and bowel disease. End of story." that's pretty much all Wakefield said too and he called for more research to find out why.

Gooseberrybushes Thu 02-Jun-11 13:29:02

"well said"? - as if you understood half of it

Wakefield is always accused of saying more than he did. It makes it easier to discredit him.

g33k Thu 02-Jun-11 15:00:35

bubbleymummy: We've established that the article is misleading (which you seem to have agreed with). We've also established that the Walker/Krigsman research is flawed, and attempts at replication have failed (see here and here). Wakefield's case series report has been also been found to be flawed. The sum of useful information you can draw from these is therefore zero. The further research you refer to has happened and found no evidence of measles in the gut of children with regressive autism.

Gooseberrybushes: First off, insulting the intelligence of other posters is never going to get you far. I've provided a summary and sources that corroborate it; I'm not sure that either are that hard to understand. Secondly, Wakefield said that "Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children." It was irresponsible of him to publish that in the summary without any kind of critical analysis.

Gooseberrybushes Thu 02-Jun-11 15:26:02

It wasn't a case series.

I wasn't insulting your intelligence. I wasn't addressing you.

I think if you read the entire transcript of the press conference you can see that he wasn't irresponsible at all. He was qualified and restrained, and he volunteered that the other members of the team had some disagreements with him.

The quote is absolutely correct. "Associated by the parents". So it was. What is your problem with this? What do you think his critical analysis of this should have looked like?

bubbleymummy Thu 02-Jun-11 16:03:12

G33k, have you read the transcript of the interview? When he was asked if he was saying that the mmr was causing autism he made it very clear that he was not.

g33k Thu 02-Jun-11 17:44:19

Gooseberrybushes: The Lancet paper was a case series. I also didn't say that you had insulted my intelligence; I was referring to your comment directed at bigfatcath. Apologies if this wasn't immediately obvious.

Are you talking about this press conference and/or interview? Wherein he says that "there is sufficient anxiety in my own mind of the safety [of the] MMR vaccination in combination that I think that it should be suspended […]" and "[…] the damage, the behavioural or developmental change tends to occur quite soon after administration"? This, after studying just twelve patients who are all necessarily there because of their autism. He was guilty of affirming the consequent and for making claims which simply didn't follow from what could be ascertained from any research.

bubbleymummy: Given the bits I've pulled out above, he very strongly suggests that there is something to worry about, even if he didn't explicitly state "MMR causes autism". Regardless, what he did say in the interview was unfounded, misleading and dangerous.

Gooseberrybushes and bubbleymummy: Are you actually defending the claim that MMR causes autism? Or just seeking to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about the safety of MMR?

I find it frustrating that we started off talking about a Daily Mail article, then when that was shown to be unreliable we move on to the conference abstract, and when that is shown to be irrelevant we move on to the claims made by Wakefield, which have been debunked numerous times. At each stage you shift the focus and say "Yes, but what about this?" entirely glossing over the fact that your previous claims were wrong. This also happened in another thread, where Gooseberrybushes first claims that the BCG is ineffective, then that it's not available in the UK, and then that they actually meant (to paraphrase) "not available in [mainland] Europe", completely ignoring the fact that previous claims were demonstrably wrong.

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 17:53:33

g33k - do you seriously think that Wakefield had seen just those 12 children when he (and the others) published that paper in 1998?

you really, really think that?

I think you need to do a bit more reading on the matter...

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 17:55:47

oh, and the BCG vaccine is largely ineffective, btw.

which is why it is no longer given on a national scale as routine.

Riveninside Thu 02-Jun-11 17:56:06

Clearly more research is needed

DillyDaydreaming Thu 02-Jun-11 18:04:16

Wakefield wrote the paper based upon 12 children though which is the point here. He didn't write the paper based upon 12 children "and many others". The whole point of the Wakefield debacle is that he did not follow protocol which as an experienced researcher he should have realised was ethically questionable. Despite what his research says THAT is the issue.
So NOT "poor Andrew Wakefield" at all and just the webpage linked to makes me suspicious of it's motives. A "cure for autism" indeed - what a load of bollocks.

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 18:06:52

Dilly - he (and others) presented the best 12 examples - a common practice.

he followed research protocol, btw. he followed it so well that his standards actually meet research protocols introduced many years later - he was doign it that way all along.

DillyDaydreaming Thu 02-Jun-11 18:14:53

Getting blood samples at a children's birthday party is NOT "good protocol".
Sorry can't debate with you on this - the man is and always was a maverick. He made a dreadful assertion at a Press Conference based on the results of a very tiny sample. You CANNOT take such a small sample and extrapolate the findings to an entire population - you just cannot. His comments may have been responsible for the deaths of children due to the fear he instilled.

Btw - do you know that when the birth rate rises so does the stork population? Cause and effect - hmm?

Anyway - tis my opinion and my son is immune and healthy (albeit autistic) with all signs of autism present prior to the MMR which was done late as we were out of the country.

Not saying children are always undamaged by vaccine - everything has a risk but personally I'd rather risk the minuscule chance of a problem than risk the very real risk of measles or allow him to pass it onto another child with low immunity who might not survive the infection.

Anyway - bye

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 18:16:51

the one thing he did NOT do was take his results and extrapolate to populaiton level.

he asked for further research, and that is all. and he asked with good reason, given what he had been seeing in his practice over the preceding years.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now