5 Feb 2008

Say it loud; MMR is not linked to autism

Here's something we knew already, the MMR vaccine doesn't cause autism. It prevents measles, mumps and rubella, which is nice, but it's as likely to cause autism as living in a a house with a south facing garden, i.e. not at all!

The latest study, gratifyingly published in the front page of today's Guardian, involved testing the blood of 250 children, all of whom received the MMR, for traces of measles virus. No differences were found between the children diagnosed as autistic and the typically developing children. No signs of bowel disease were discovered either.

This will not convince any of the die hard believers, for whom it's a matter of faith to keep deluding themselves that Wakefield cared for the children he scoped, that all the energy and fight they invested into backing up Wakefield's random notion must be true. Never mind that when you make an extraordinary claim like that, you need some damned good evidence to back it up, and none...zero evidence was forthcoming.

Did the Wakefield faithful read this Daily Mail article last December, "£500,000 for boy left fighting for life after being used as MMR guinea pig."

How was Wakefield caring for Jack Piper, whose bowel was perforated in more than 12 places during surgery at the Royal Free Hospital in North London in 1998? According to High Court papers, Jack's surgery was 'not clinically indicated or justified' and was principally performed to further research into links between autism and bowel conditions.

I can only hope that this study will help reassure parents deciding how best to protect their children from infectious diseases. It would be great if some of those convinced that their own children's autism was caused by the MMR, would reconsider, would stop seeing their children as damaged or poisoned. Too many people have been fleeced by irresponsible charlatans claiming to 'heal' via the various silly or even dangerous methods they employ, from chelation or homeopathy to unnecassarily restricted diet combined with a host of useless supplements.

6 comments:

Maddy said...

I hope so too.
Best wishes

CS said...

I assume the doctors in Great Britain are aware of Fragile X. The link to the story in your post takes you to a large picture of Jack Piper.

Fragile X has a very distinct facial profile and Jack's facial profile is clearly fragile X. Google images of fragile X for comparisons.

I wonder if what happened to Jack Piper would have occurred with a Fragile X diagnosis?

Sharon said...

Really CS? That poor boy, no doubt he'd have been left alone had he been diagnosed with Fragile X instead of autism.

I'd have assumed that all paediatricians here would be familiar with Fragile X.

Suzanne said...

In Madison, they wouldn't dx autism without first karyotyping (for FragileX). Maybe I've been spoiled by having quality medical practitioners.

Heidirific said...

In Ireland, I've had conversations with psychologists who consider fragile X part of autism. Although they have a diagnosis of fragile X, they are considered autistic because it is listed as one of the autism spectrum disorders. The NIMH writes this about frgile X:

"Fragile X syndrome affects about two to five percent of people with ASD."

(http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/autism/complete-publication.shtml)

Anonymous said...

Jack Piper does not have Fragile X. This was proved by a blood test.