New fears as tests link triple jabs to childrens disease
Scientists discover damning evidence that MMR injections could cause autism
Sunday Express March 18, 2001
The most damning and compelling evidence yet of a link between autism and the controversial MMR jab has been discovered by scientists.
Researchers working on two separate studies have linked the brain dysfunction to physical abnormalities that could have been triggered by the multiple vaccine.
The revelation will dismay thousands of parents told by the Government that the vaccine is safe and they should go ahead with inoculations. It will also increase pressure on ministers to fund more research.
The new evidence is far more convincing than results of previous studies because it is based on clinical tests rather than analysis of statistical information.
Because scientists were investigating physical symptoms they were able to put samples under the microscope instead of just numbers.
Paul Shattock, head of the Newcastle-based Autism Research Unit said the studies represent the most important research into the condition ever carried out.
He said: "This is what we have been waiting for for so many years a proper scientific look at what may trigger autism.
"We knew that this research was being done, but you do not know how strong the findings are. These findings could not be stronger in getting to the bottom of autism."
And Rosemary Kessick, chief executive of the medical research and support charity Allergy Induced Autism, said the findings vindicated what have long believed.
She said: "This is a huge step forward in helping prove what we have felt from the outset which is that vaccines, viruses and food play a major part in causing autism in a huge number of children."
Until now autism has been seen as a purely mental disorder. But the new research suggests it may be connected to physical conditions that could have been caused by the MMR jab.
One of the ground breaking reports found that many autistic children suffer from a condition known as "leaky gut syndrome".
The disease, which damages the intestine wall, is. often found in children with autism and very rarely in other children.
Researchers from the Royal Free Hospital in London, who studied 68 children over a period of two years, believe the gut disorder is linked with, or could even cause autism.
Other research has led experts to believe these symptoms could be triggered by a reaction to the MMR jab.
World renowned child specialist and the main author of the report, Simon Murch, said the study was an important advance.
He said: "People have seen autism as a mental, not a physical illness. We have shown for the first time in a properly controlled study a clear link between gut inflammation and brain damage."
A second studied carried out in the United States has found evidence suggesting that vaccines can cause childrens immune systems to go out of control.
Child specialists at the University of Minneapolis, studied 35 autistic children and found 27 had abnormal immune systems. The abnormalities had apparently been triggers by vaccines or other external factors including viruses and certain foods.
The scientists, due to present their work at the, conference of the American Academy for Allergy Asthma and Immunology next week, believe this immune disorder could affect the brain and cause autism.
However the research was dismissed by Government experts who insist there is not enough evidence to prove any link between inoculations and autism.
David Salisbury head of vaccines at the Department of Health, said his advisors had examined evidence from the Royal Free and could not support their findings.
He said: "We have looked at this work and the conclusions are not convincing."
ONE patient under the care of doctors at the Royal Free is seven-year-old Thomas Hewitt, who suffers both autism and "leaky gut syndrome".
His doctors recently confirmed he is carrying the measles virus in his gut and believe this could be linked to his symptoms.
The youngsters mother, Ann, 52, is convinced Thomas problems were triggered by the MMR Inoculation.
She said: "He was a perfectly healthy boy and had achieved the usual developmental milestones -in fact he was very advanced for his age."
Her sons health and behaviour suddenly changed after he was given the MMR jab at 13 months, She recalled: "He became very unsettled. He screamed and would bang his head against the walls."
Ann, from in Wood Green, North London, later discovered Thomas had a form of autism and serious digestive dysfunction. He is now on powerful medication, can barely eat, and suffers constant pain and diarrhoea.
The Royal Free, which runs a unit specialising in child stomach disorders, still believes parents should vaccinate their babies. However, it argues that the Government should fund proper scientific research into the potential risks. The hospital currently has an 18-month waiting list for children from across the world seeking its medical expertise and struggles to fund research.
Thomas had started to tall nine months and was even beginning to walk by the tin had was given the jab.
But weeks later he started become very agitated. It was this point when he started having screaming fits and banging his head against walls.
"At first we just didnt understand it," recalls Ann. eventually took him to his G who identified that Thomas a stomach disorder.