Autism study

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Caissa
Autism study

A medical journal in Britain has retracted a controversial study it published in 1998 that linked the use of a vaccine in children to autism.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/02/02/autism-mmr-lancet-wakefield.html#ixzz0eOrVkLxF

jas

from the comments section: 

Quote:

Anti-vaccine quacks should look at real evidence

. . . such as articles in the Lancet?

 

Sineed

Your point is well-taken, jas.  What was said in the retraction:

Quote:
We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent.

That paper has come under heavy criticism for many years, but by leaving it unretracted, the Lancet editors left it out there as a legitimate part of the evidence.

Unionist

Thanks for this, Caissa and Sineed. Hopefully the Lancet will have saved a few lives by this move.

Caissa

I consider this an important retraction. As many know, both of our sons are on the autism spectrum.

Snert Snert's picture

So originally they thought they knew something, but new evidence has come to light that indicates they were wrong, so they retract and revise.

I think the earth will go ice cold and hurtle back into the sun before the anti-science kooks (or, for that matter, their first cousins the conspiracy kooks) can ever muster up the integrity to do the same.

That's right Dr. Jenny McCarthy, I'm talkin' to you.

oldgoat

I've often wondered about a hereditary factor in some autism spectrum disorders.  My son is on the spectrum, as as I look around my family I wonder about undiagnosed Aspergers syndrome.  Looking at my own history, I also wonder about myself. Actually, I'm pretty sure I am.

I should add that I wouldn't change a thing about my son.  He's a member of SASA (Students with Autism Social Association) at the U of T, and I really like those of his friends I've met.  For a group of people who are supposed to be socially underdeveloped, they are hugely mutually supportive and non-judgemental and are very devoted to their group.  He's done a fair bit of writing in the field of disability, and especially autism culture.

Sineed

One of my friends was diagnosed as Aspergers in his early 40s, after his daughter was diagnosed.  What you say about how non-judgemental they are rings true; my friend would never do anything mean-spirited or manipulative, and he's about the most honest person I've ever met.

jas

I assume most people have heard about the incidence of autism in the Silicon Valley.

Unionist

Snert wrote:

So originally they thought they knew something, but new evidence has come to light that indicates they were wrong, so they retract and revise.

I think the earth will go ice cold and hurtle back into the sun before the anti-science kooks (or, for that matter, their first cousins the conspiracy kooks) can ever muster up the integrity to do the same.

That is such an important point that it needs to be highlighted and reiterated. Real scientists welcome real-life evidence, whether it confirms or refutes their theories. That's probably the litmus test distinguishing the scientists from the quacks.

jas

What incidents of quackery are you referring to, Unionist, where this lack of acknowledgement and revision was evident?

Sineed

jas wrote:

I assume most people have heard about the incidence of autism in the Silicon Valley.

I had heard about the "geek syndrome" Jas; I brought it up on a medical chat site and was roundly taken to task for it.  (Many of the folks saying, basically, "I'm good at math, and my parents are engineers, and I have good social skills," sort of thing.)

 

Unionist

jas wrote:

What incidents of quackery are you referring to, Unionist, where this lack of acknowledgement and revision was evident?

Umm, all of them. Religion, homeopathy, neo-conservatism, Zionism... They manage to embrace and incorporate every real-life refutation and transform it into a validation. You can easily find threads on babble illustrating most of these phenomena.

By the way, I've found the full text (143 pages) of the report by the General Medical Council on Wakefield and two of his colleagues - I imagine those are the three of the original 13 study authors who have not yet renounced the study. You can download/read it [url=http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Wakefield__Smith_Murch.pd....

Here's a [url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/01/28/autism-vaccine-wakefield.html]b... article[/url] explaining the motion of censure against Wakefield.

jas

Unionist wrote:

Umm, all of them. Religion, homeopathy, neo-conservatism, Zionism... They manage to embrace and incorporate every real-life refutation and transform it into a validation. You can easily find threads on babble illustrating most of these phenomena.

Oh, okay. We'll just take your word for it, then.

Quote:
By the way, I've found the full text (143 pages) of the report by the General Medical Council on Wakefield and two of his colleagues - I imagine those are the three of the original 13 study authors who have not yet renounced the study. You can download/read it [url=http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Wakefield__Smith_Murch.pd....

Yes, amazing. Thirteen authors signed their name to this study initially, and for 6 years after that. And now, 12 years later, after the past year's H1N1 hysteria and widespread vaccine skepticism, the Lancet is retracting it.

Unionist

jas wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Umm, all of them. Religion, homeopathy, neo-conservatism, Zionism... They manage to embrace and incorporate every real-life refutation and transform it into a validation. You can easily find threads on babble illustrating most of these phenomena.

Oh, okay. We'll just take your word for it, then.

Thanks, jas.

Quote:
Yes, amazing. Thirteen authors signed their name to this study initially, and for 6 years after that. And now, 12 years later, after the past year's H1N1 hysteria and widespread vaccine skepticism, the Lancet is retracting it.

Interesting. What's more, the date of the Lancet's retraction is exactly 3,066 days after the attack on the Twin Towers. Some may call that "coincidence", but I wonder...

 

jas

Unionist wrote:
Thanks, jas.

You're welcome! It's nice not to have to back up your statements, eh?

Unionist

My monthly cheque arrives promptly from Glaxo-Pfizer-Anheuser-Busch whether I back up my statements or not, so why bother?

jas

Cool.

Sineed

Quote:
Yes, amazing. Thirteen authors signed their name to this study initially, and for 6 years after that. And now, 12 years later, after the past year's H1N1 hysteria and widespread vaccine skepticism, the Lancet is retracting it.

Speaking of conflicts of interest:

Quote:
The GMC panel also found Wakefield responsible for an ethics breach because he wrote that the children involved in the case report were referred to his clinic for stomach problems, when Wakefield knew nearly half of the children were actually part of a lawsuit looking into the effects of a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Some children didn't have stomach issues at all.

and

Quote:
The GMC also found that Wakefield failed to disclose he was paid in conjunction with the lawsuit, or that he had a patent related to a new MMR vaccine in development when he submitted the 12-child case report to be published in a scientific journal.

On Jenny McCarthy's site:

Quote:
Dr. Wakefield, a highly respected gastroenterologist in the UK, was presented with the cases of these twelve children who had all regressed into autism and were all experiencing severe gut pain.

Nope; see above.

Quote:
The sole purpose of the GMC's ruling this week is to try and quell the growing concern of parents that the expanding vaccine schedule and the remarkable rise in autism are correlated. The GMC will no doubt be helped by a press that barely understands the debate and has never read any of the dozens of studies published by Dr. Wakefield in many different respected medical journals.

Actually, it's other researchers who discredited Dr. Wakefield.  It's a scientifically-illiterate press that has lent so much publicity and credibility to Jenny McCarthy.

The results of this study: follow this link to find deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases.

http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html

ennir

Unionist wrote:

My monthly cheque arrives promptly from Glaxo-Pfizer-Anheuser-Busch whether I back up my statements or not, so why bother?

That would explain how you have so much time to devote to this.  LOL

 

Trevormkidd

Unionist wrote:
My monthly cheque arrives promptly from Glaxo-Pfizer-Anheuser-Busch whether I back up my statements or not, so why bother?

 

When you found out that Andrew Wakefield received £435,643 from lawyers suing vaccine makers for harm they did not cause I hoped you increased your fee. Fair is fair. 

Unionist

Holy crap, Trevor, you're correct:

[url=http://briandeer.com/mmr/st-dec-2006.htm]MMR, the money[/url]

It's all documented in that Dec. 31, 2006 article.

What a scumbag that Wakefield is.

 

Trevormkidd

The dailykos article is pretty good:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/30/832251/-Anti-Vaccine-Doctor-Acted-Unethically

Quote:
So to review... a flawed & possibly faked study of 12 children contributed to a hysteria that's resulted in the UK rate of inoculation to fall from 92% to the low 80s, and below 70% in some areas, compromising "herd immunity".

 

 

Unionist

I looked back at [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/humanities-science/doctors-brace-new-wave-vaccin... babble thread[/url] from 2009. Hopefully some of the decent and rational babblers who (passionately) repeated urban legends about autism and vaccination will reflect and reconsider in the light of the latest revelations.

 

jas

What's also interesting is your shock, as if conflicts of interest don't happen frequently in medical research.

Unionist

I don't care about his conflict of interest. That was only one of the charges levelled against him. I care that his study was bogus, and that it undoubtedly has cost credulous people their health and their lives. And as the babble thread above indicates, even intelligent and progressive people find it hard to shake off mythology.

 

jas

The only thing that's changed is that some doctors are now saying that, according to their studies, "there is no evidence" to link autism with vaccines. I'm guessing also that the association with autism is not the only thing that has caused widespread wariness of vaccines.
The "Jenny McCarthy death toll" is a little silly, too. How many preventable deaths were occurring before Jenny McCarthy spoke? How many preventable deaths occur anyway, every day?

Caissa

Oldgoat wrote: I've often wondered about a hereditary factor in some autism spectrum disorders.  My son is on the spectrum, as as I look around my family I wonder about undiagnosed Aspergers syndrome.  Looking at my own history, I also wonder about myself. Actually, I'm pretty sure I am.

 

Caissa responds: Their is an active debate on this question. I was diagnosed with ADHD in the early 70s. Quite possibly I might have been diagnosed with Aspergers if I was that age and presented with the same symptoms in the last decade. We originally thought our son had ADHD but the diagnosis of AS by a paediatric neurologist fit quite well. Ms. C. and I both share some of the characteristics of individuals with an AS diagnosis.

ETA: I don't know how I missed that May 2009 thread but it was painful to peruse.

remind remind's picture

Oh....yes..... unionist that thread was just so special the first time around that it needed to be brought back into existence again for a second go around.

 

Talk about fostering hard feeling and  kicking inter babbler wounds open, and keeping the toxicity at babble going.

 

... think there should be a new rule at babble,  given google's actions of this moning and now unionist dredging up an acrimonious thread and getting everyone all bent out of shape, yet again

 

new rule should be:

 

No harvesting of past threads that were negative and divisive, and throwing them up at a later date, as they are still that in the future. Especially when used to blugeon people.

 

.... the sweetness and light flattery comments used, are no sop for intent of action, and I had been waiting for you to bring it forward,  so thanks for being so predictable.

Saddening though it is.

 

Caissa

A Maritime news story with a good ending.

An 18-year-old with autism is safe after she disappeared for nearly 10 hours in bitter cold.

Jennifer Graves-Smith vanished after leaving her school, Halifax West High, at about 3:30 p.m. AT on Tuesday. She was reported missing when she failed to turn up for her bus ride home.

Halifax Regional Police said the teen wandered near the school for hours and ended up in the lobby of a nearby apartment building just after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/02/03/ns-graves-smith-found.html?ref=rss&loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r5:c0.0833496:b30218422#ixzz0eUcCG9t1

Unionist

remind wrote:

new rule should be:

No harvesting of past threads that were negative and divisive, and throwing them up at a later date, as they are still that in the future. Especially when used to blugeon people.

You don't want us to take your comments seriously after 6 months? 6 weeks? 6 minutes? What's the shelf life on [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/humanities-science/doctors-brace-new-wave-vaccin... kind of stuff[/url]:

remind wrote:
And there had already been 3 cases of children who of all sudden became autistic after they had received innoculations.

I asked babblers to reflect on their repetition of unproven mythology about vaccination causing autism. You choose not to - that's your affair - but I'm certain others will.

Slumberjack

If you two continue sniping at each other, you who used to tag team on me not so long ago, it just might be worth breaking one of the resolutions I undertook last month, to do with butter flavoured popcorn.

Unionist

SJ, I'm not sniping at anyone. Remind was absent from this entire thread until she decided to take her usual out-of-left-field whack at me. I don't mind that - but I do mind people spreading tales about vaccine causing autism. As for your threats about popcorn, do you know that can cause asphyxiation? I take such threats seriously and will be notifying the authorities. Over and out.

 

remind remind's picture

Unionist, shall I drag threads up of your posts that are quite ugly, attacking and baiting, that I have bookmarked and slap them up? As I am bookmarking this too, to go along with the ones I have.....just to remind myself how ugly I think such a practice is, but don't worry I won't, as I feel unclean every time I look at the folder, I just keep it around as it reminds me of who I do not want to be like.

Seriously, I am not going to change my mind on the vaccination front, as you well know, and I give a rat's ass how many Drs and  such like who say whatever. So your linking to an acrimonious thread only serves to prove how mean spirited of an action it is, at worst, and/or a baiting one, at best.

 

Neither are stellar displays of progressiveness that you most recently have bashed people here for their lacks thereof. Take the mote out eh!

 

Again, I suggest people read and hear the words of Linus Pauling, a Nobel winning scientist and former  head of the WHO that was actually honourable and not afraid to lay it out, as to the corruption in big pharma and the medical scientific community.

Unionist

remind wrote:

Seriously, I am not going to change my mind on the vaccination front, as you well know, and I give a rat's ass how many Drs and  such like who say whatever.

Yes, remind, I know you will never change your mind. I know. But please stop attacking me. If you had a comment to make in this thread, why didn't you just make it?

 

remind remind's picture

Ya unionist you have a point I should not have risen to your baiting.....

 

and btw I did not attack you, i took exception to your baiting actions, as someone has to.

Unionist

remind wrote:

Unionist, shall I drag threads up of your posts that are quite ugly, attacking and baiting, that I have bookmarked and slap them up? As I am bookmarking this too, to go along with the ones I have...

How sad.

 

RosaL

You know, this kind of thing "bothers" (to put it as mildly as possible) autistic adults (like me). We don't see ourselves as some kind of tragedy to be avoided. I will grant that there are are some autistic lives that seem tragic, even under the best conditions. But most are not - or at least needn't be. It is not a tragedy not to be normal. In fact, there's a lot to be said for it. That's all I'm going to say. 

p-sto

Well said Rosa.  I wonder how it impacts autistic children who are raised by their parents as if they are broken or some horrible wrong has been done to them.

Unionist

How about parents who abhor autism, and who won't vaccinate their kids because of the urban legends? It would be a pity to be born into such a situation.

 

HeywoodFloyd

RosaL wrote:
 It is not a tragedy not to be normal. In fact, there's a lot to be said for it. That's all I'm going to say. 

Hear hear!  Well said Rosa.

remind remind's picture

.... peanut gallery comments beyond RosaL's, who as she well knows is not a typical autistic.

RosaL

remind wrote:

.... peanut gallery comments beyond RosaL's, who as she well knows is not a typical autistic.

 

I am not at all unusual. For some reason people think autistic people don't grow up and don't keep learning throughout their lives. I'm not an autistic child, no. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Label Jars Not People

RosaL

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Label Jars Not People

Well, I'd certainly agree to that as a long-term goal. But in the kind of society we have, the label is crucial. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

A Word About Language

People First is an organization that was formed because some of the people in our communities felt that they were not considered as people first. They felt that they were talked about, talked to, thought about, and treated according to the disabilities that others labelled them with.

The founders of People First did not think this was fair. Over the years people have been called mentally handicapped, developmentally disabled, cognitively challenged, intellectually disabled, and many other labels.

In order to avoid hurting peoples' feelings and to avoid using labels when we talk about the many different members of People First, we will use the term people who have been labelled.

http://www.peoplefirstofcanada.ca/about_us_en.php

RosaL

Well, there are probably differences in how people see things. People First has that perspective. My experience is that most autistic adults I have had contact with see value in the label, "under the present circumstances". (For one thing, it's some protection against the constant cruelty to which many of us have been subjected.)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The system requires labels but that doesn't make the labeling any better just necessary.

RosaL

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The system requires labels but that doesn't make the labeling any better just necessary.

 

I don't think I said it was good, just that, under current conditions, we need the label. I've experienced the alternative and so have many others of my kind. It was hell. The label gave me enough protection to survive. That's not good, I know. But for now, most of us think we need the label. 

Unionist

Are there any moderators left on this board?

 

RosaL

remind wrote:

RosaL wrote:
remind wrote:
.... peanut gallery comments beyond RosaL's, who as she well knows is not a typical autistic.

I am not at all unusual. For some reason people think autistic people don't grow up and don't keep learning throughout their lives. I'm not an autistic child, no.

having worked with autistic youth and adults, on and off for 27 years, I understand you are are extremely high functioning and I believe you were most likely as a child too.

Such is not the case for many, perhaps it could be if appropriate teaching and programs were readily available.

 

Remind, you know nothing about my childhood or my adulthood. You don't know what I was like as a child or a young adult - or what I struggle with now. 

Actually, this reminds me of a conversation I had with someone the other day. They were talking about an autistic adolescent and how he was obviously a lot lower functioning than I was because they were trying to teach him to do a certain thing - it was something I hadn't been able to do till I had passed 40!

It's part of basic respect for another human being not to second guess or deny what they say about themselves without good reason and in a forum such as this you cannot possibly have good reason. 

I have never once complained about anything anyone said to me on babble. But this I protest. 

ETA: imagine making a comparable comment to a member of another "oppressed group": "Having worked with members of your group on and off for 27 years, I can tell you thus and so about yourself, i.e., you are wrong in what you say about yourself and your life." 

 

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