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New Published Study Verifies Andrew Wakefield’s Research on Autism!

(218 Posts)
chocchild Sun 04-Aug-13 19:56:39

Has anybody come across this in the news? Maybe it's not newsworthy enough!

Gooseysgirl Wed 07-Aug-13 19:27:26


RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 07-Aug-13 20:40:59

Ok, I'm being lazy here, but here's my take on this:

- I'm going from the study linked in Catharina's post above, and I haven't read the article the OP seems to be talking about.

- I've only read the abstract, I'm not even going as far as sample size and makeup.

- I couldn't care less who these researchers are, who their friends are, and what other literature they cite. I'm going by what they've done and what they're reporting.

So, the thread title suggests that someone thinks that this study gives evidence that vaccination is implicated in the develop net of ASD.

By reading the abstract, the authors have clearly only been studying the genetic profiles of the mucosal cells in those with ASD, Chrones disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

They start by saying that there is often some gastrointestinal inflammation associated with ASD. I've heard this before.

They basically then do some gene analysis on people with these ASD associated gastrointestinal issues, and compare it to those with other, really unpleasant gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions, and to people who don't have either ASD or UC/Chrones.

The study finds, that there are genetic markers for gastrointestinal inflammation. In the people with the inflammation. (They actually say genetic markers in ASD are like what is found in the early stages of Chrones/UC, not when it gets really bad).

So they're saying: yeah, ASD conditions have some gut inflammation. The genetic markers might be CAUSED BY the inflammation itself (this is epigenetics), OR (and they don't even speculate in the abstract) it could be some kind of genetic co-morbidity, where the genetic changes associated with ASD (and we already know there's a genetic element to ASD) are also associated with gut inflammation.

The is NO mention of cause. And there is absolutely NO mention anywhere of vaccination, or leaky gut in children, or anything.

So, in conclusion: thread title (and associated article) is bollocks.

Madratlady Wed 07-Aug-13 21:00:11

Regaining You've pretty much spelled out what I was thinking about that article, but you've done a much better job of saying it than I could've.

The person who wrote the article is clearly not very clever or just in it for the money and not caring what bollocks they churn out.

RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 07-Aug-13 21:02:48

I haven't even read the article.

There's a lot of bollocks on the Internet. This appears to be a classic example of its type.

eccentrica Wed 07-Aug-13 21:11:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 07-Aug-13 21:27:48

Ha! Look how much effort I dedicated to complete lunacy!

I wholeheartedly agree, eccentrica!

eccentrica Wed 07-Aug-13 21:57:55

Regaining your effort was well worth it - I knew it would be bollocks but good to have someone explain exactly why smile

sashh Sat 10-Aug-13 17:59:29

Not read the whole thing but it seems to say

Lots of ASD children have problems with their bowels.
Other children have Cronn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

When you compare samples from the three groups there may be a gene in common, there may not.

And the sample was of 53 children.

How does that back up Wakefield?

JoTheHot Sun 11-Aug-13 15:13:32

It doesn't, but never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 09:52:27

How does that back up Wakefield?

Because what Wakefield and Professor Walker-Smith were working on was observation of gut issues in children with autism and how treating those gut issues could benefit the children, not only because to do so alleviated them of a lot of physical distress (that the children often had difficulty indicating to anyone, sometimes due to their non-verbal status), but because in case studies the children's autistic behaviours improved too.

Which was wonderful. And an important medical discovery with regards to treating and helping children in great distress.

The observation was also that the gut disease these children presented appeared to be unusual and show differences when compared to known conditions such as UC and Crohn's - which was interesting and merited further investigation and suggested that what was being observed was a distinct pathology which presented as autistic enterocolitis (i.e. with both autism and gut issues and with the two being related). It was a scientific breakthrough that as Crumbledwalnuts has said has led to the development of FDA approved medication to treat the combined issues. Crumbledwalnuts use of the word 'jigsaw' is very apt - like much of medical science concerning the complex human body, discoveries are often made by gathering pieces of a jigsaw over time before anybody gets to shout out 'eureka'.

Taken together, these results demonstrate that ASDGI children have a gastrointestinal mucosal molecular profile that overlaps significantly with known inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yet has distinctive features that further supports the presence of an ASD-associated IBD variant

This is the bit that adds to Wakefield and Professor Walker-Smith's work.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 09:58:52

Except that their controls are not appropriate and therefore the paper is not half as valuable as it is made out to be.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 13:06:16

CatherinaJTV - I'm assuming that you have read the paper in its entirety.

As is standard the authors discuss the limitations of the study. I don't think we can accuse them of presenting the paper as more important than it is when they comprehensively detail its limitations. Of course many people probably don't read as far as that but that is hardly the authors' fault.

One of the study's limitations was the relatively small and unequal sample numbers, especially in the IBD groups, although the pattern of aberrant gene expression was consistent with that described previously for these disease groups. The original goal of this preliminary study was to describe the molecular phenotype(s) for the ASDGI group – the IBD cases were included for comparison. Despite the differences in group sizes, highly significant differences emerged, particularly between ASDGI cases and non-inflamed controls.

Additional factors known to influence human intestinal mucosal gene expression include, but are not limited to, age, gender, ethnicity, prescription medications, diet, and dietary supplements. Insofar as this is a retrospective study designed primarily to explore the relationship between the ASDGI phenotype and inflammatory bowel disease, these potential confounding factors could not be adequately controlled for. The variety of diets, medications, and nutritional supplements in the ASD-GI group is depicted in Table S1. For the most part ASD-GI children were on a diet that restricted ingestion of both gluten and casein, and in some instances also soy, whereas individuals in the control groups were not on restrictive diets. In addition, food auto-restriction, a common feature in autism, serves to further limit the variety of foods to which the bowel mucosa is exposed and could potentially impact mucosal gene expression. None of the ASDGI cases in this study were receiving medications known to impact inflammatory processes of the intestinal mucosa for at least four weeks prior to obtaining the biopsies. This includes NSAIDS, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, corticosteroids, antibiotics, probiotics, and immune-suppressants. Well-designed prospective studies that would control for additional mitigating factors such as these are both important and necessary.

Because the cellular composition of biopsy material would be expected to influence gene expression, it is theoretically possible that greater levels of lymphoid tissue present in the younger ASDGI patients in the study group may have contributed to differences between them and the older patients in the other three groups. Although this may have been a factor in the terminal ileal gene expression (all of which demonstrated the histologic presence of LNH), this cannot be the case in the colonic analyses as only two of the colonic specimens contained histologic LNH. It therefore seems likely that LNH, by itself, does not contribute to DET variation in this study.

An important consideration when examining between-group differences in gene expression reported here is the disparity in mean age between the ASDGI group (5 years) and the non-ASD groups (12.5 years). Although this factor represents a limitation to this study, we are not aware of any gene expression studies that have reported a significant age-related pattern of expression in pediatric gastrointestinal tissue. In the absence of these data, we are making the assumption that, while there may be some differences in gastrointestinal tissue gene expression in children as they age from 5 to 13, these differences would not significantly skew the overall transcriptome profile. A second important limitation in the design of this study is the lack of gender-matched samples. Given the increased risk of ASD in boys, the ASD cases tend to be mostly male, whereas the non-ASD patients are more evenly distributed between male and female. Once again, although we are not aware of any report suggesting significant gender-related differences in gene expression in pediatric gastrointestinal tissue, we acknowledge that they may exist and if so, could confound the interpretation of these results. Importantly, the largest source of variation found via principal component analysis of gene expression in these 53 biopsy samples was disease state, i.e. the presence or absence of light microscopic histopathologic findings.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 13:57:38

I have seen that - it's the discussion boards that over interpret their data, not (so much) the authors. The fact that there are a lot of pubertal girls in their control group is going to change gene expression for sure.

JoTheHot Tue 03-Sep-13 18:14:49

I appreciate that just because Wakefield is corrupt, that doesn't mean everything he has ever said is a lie. However, this is a vaccine board, and this research, even aside of its limitations, in no way supports Wakefield's fraudulent 'research' on vaccines.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:51:21

Wakefield is not corrupt. HTH.

LaVolcan Tue 03-Sep-13 19:20:08

I thought Wakefield's research was into gut problems, not vaccines?
Nor did he say, "don't vaccinate". At the time he recommended the use of the single measles vaccine which was readily available.

Every time the MMR issue comes Wakefield is used as a scapegoat for the lack of take up of the vaccine and it's trotted out that Wakefield is corrupt, MMR doesn't cause autism, thus actually reminding people that they were worried about MMR and autism. Otherwise, I think the autism issue might we have been forgotten.

I think that some people would question the safety of the vaccine and some would question the need for the three in one element when two diseases being vaccinated against are extremely unlikely to cause problems in small children.

However, the witch hunt against Wakefield did make me read what he had to say for himself. My guess would be that in 20-30 years time, he will be partially vindicated, and that there will be found to be children whose genetic make up makes them unusually susceptible to the vaccine.

(It won't be the first time that medical science has sworn that they are right and have to backtrack when shown to be wrong).

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 19:38:39

Actually you're right so this comment by Catherina

oh groan - no, neither this new paper, nor any other published by Wakefield, Wakefield's friends and people paid by Wakefield supports the MMR-autism connection.

is totally irrelevant

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 20:09:59

LeVolcan - which one is it?

I thought Wakefield's research was into gut problems, not vaccines?


My guess would be that in 20-30 years time, he will be partially vindicated, and that there will be found to be children whose genetic make up makes them unusually susceptible to the vaccine.

My guess is that in 20-30 years, no one will remember his name, already newspapers get his wrong (I saw "Adam Wakefield" recently) and the Daily Mail will champion something else as the reason for the decline of whatever...

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 20:10:46

But my comment that comparing 12.5 year old girls to 4 year old boys because puberty changes gene expression is not irrelevant.

DreadLock Tue 03-Sep-13 20:17:09

Wakefield is not corrupt IMO. Just as you are entitled to yours people.

LaVolcan Tue 03-Sep-13 20:20:40

Sorry, which one is what?

My first statement was a question - I thought his main research was gut problems. I am happy to be corrected if it wasn't.

The last is a statement of opinion. Regardless of whether the main thrust of his research was vaccines or gut problems, more research, one hopes, will have been done, with more answers forthcoming.

TweenageAngst Tue 03-Sep-13 20:43:39

The research was funded by the Jane Johnson Foundation.

Jane Johnson was one of the people who set up the Thoughtful centre to further wakefields (now) totally discredited research, in fact he was the director of it.

Although they have now dissociated themselves from him following the retraction of the article by the Lancet.
Jane Johnson is a signatory to this statement below

Five years after the initiation of a campaign to discredit the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the London Sunday Times carried additional allegations on Sunday, February 8, 2009. Three pages of coverage that presented no new evidence accused Dr. Wakefield of "fixing" research data. These allegations have no basis in fact and have been fully addressed in Dr. Wakefield's response to the General Medical Council (GMC) prosecution, now well into its second year.

We the undersigned, representing multitudes of citizens worldwide, demand an enquiry into the means by which the continuing episodes of misrepresentation concerning Dr. Wakefield came to pass.


We demand that the London Sunday Times review its coverage and the increasingly evident conflicts of interest of Brian Deer with regard to both the initial lodging of the GMC complaint and subsequent reporting.
We demand to see substantiation of allegations made in the London Sunday Times article of February 8, 2009, or to be informed should no such substantiation be available.
As Brian Deer has stated that his reporting was directed by editors managing his investigation for the London Sunday Times, we demand answers of the editors with regard to mismanagement of Deer's investigation and why unsubstantiated text was permitted to be published. We request that the editor-in-chief and ownership of the London Sunday Times review, amend, and apologize for this mismanagement and editorial failure.

Further, we support an independent investigation into potential influences from pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and other special interest groups that may have played a part in efforts to censor the reporting of academic research that does not present the current mainstream medical position. We also support an enquiry into Brian Deer's activity that addresses his statements about influencing vaccine cases in the United States.

We declare that:
1. Dr. Wakefield is a man of honesty, integrity, courage, and proven commitment to children and the public health.

2. Dr. Wakefield’s research is rigorous, replicated, biologically valid, clinically evidenced, corroborated by published, peer-reviewed research in an abundance of scientific disciplines, and consistent with children’s medical problems.

3. We support clinicians who pursue treatments for bowel disorders based on Dr. Wakefield’s work and corroborating science, most specifically Arthur Krigsman, MD.

4. We support all scientists, including Dr. Andrew Wakefield, in the freedom to conduct medical research into the biological mechanisms for vaccine-related immune and brain dysfunction, including autism, without being attacked personally and professionally by industry, government, and organized medicine. We support scientific discovery, freedom to investigate, and freedom to speak in science.

5. We question the work of Brian Deer. Although journalists have a right to investigate and report, time after time Brian Deer has stepped over the line in terms of journalistic ethics. This has included his misrepresenting as new information that which he knows to be untrue; consistently misrepresenting himself and his role; and failing to meet minimum standards separating facts from opinion.

6. We renounce pharmaceutical lobby groups and the London Sunday Times supporting the complaint lodged with the GMC, the actions of which result in intimidating doctors thereby preventing objective medical assessment of autistic children with co-morbid bowel involvement.

7. We condemn the censorship of science. There are more than enough facts and evidence to support the case of vaccine injury, but the politicization of these issues has made it impossible to publish important and valid science. The debate is rigged in favor of the vaccine industry.

8. We condemn the conflicts of interest and abuse of power of the government, which has become the greatest proponent for vaccines and the greatest opponent to vaccine safety research.

9. We serve the children and families who daily suffer the consequences of the largest institutional failure in modern medicine. This is a moral crisis demanding urgent action.

10. We demand recognition of the global autism emergency. We call for investigation into the most likely environmental causes (including vaccines). We cry out for the application of proven treatment practices and for the investigation of other treatment options to help suffering children and families immediately.

Members of the public, parents, doctors and scientists worldwide are now calling for a formal enquiry:

Total Signed 4540 as of Saturday, August 31, 2013.

So I would suggest that the article is not quite as upfront as it would seem

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:55:48

I do think Andrew Wakefield is rather marvellous. He certainly is a man of honesty, integrity, courage and proven commitment to children and public health. Neither the man nor the research is totally discredited, unless you count "reputation destroyed on purpose" as discredited.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 21:43:39

the only nice thing about Wakefield is his voice. Did you ever answer me why you think he tells untruths so much? Is he lying or incompetent?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:48:27

The parents of the children he cared for disagree with you 100 pc smile

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