A number of important points arise from your article on a new study into an MMR/autism connection (News, September 5). It should be noted that only five children involved in this research met the criteria of the original hypothesis (normal development, MMR vaccination, bowel disease, leading to autism). Too small a sample, one would have thought, particularly in view of the criticism levelled at Dr Andrew Wakefield's team for publishing research in 1998 based on only 12 children. (In fact, an addendum to that original study revealed the assessment of a further 40 patients, 39 of whom had the novel form of bowel disease as described.) Your article also failed to reveal that one of the five children was found to have measles virus in the gut, thereby inadvertently validating the O'Leary findings of 2002 which looked at bowel biopsies of 91 children whose autism and bowel disease followed MMR vaccination.

The fact is, this study does not really address whether MMR causes autism, let alone rule it out, as the authors erroneously claim. It does, however, confirm the presence of distressing and painful bowel disease in many autistic children. One author has specifically pleaded that autistic children be urgently given treatment for the intolerable pain of their bowel disease. A plea that has been made repeatedly by parents over many years only to fall on the deaf ears of a compassionless medical hierarchy.

Bill Welsh, President, Autism Treatment Trust, Edinburgh.

Posted - 09/09/2008 :  19:13:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see Anthony Cox the moderator of blacktriangle (err is it bermuda triangle he's stuck in) has put in his two cents and has again demonstrated his inability to add.

To quote Cox:

"Bill Walsh's complaint that the recent Hornig study did not look at the right kinds of children is completely unscientific. If the study had deliberately set out to find children who fitted a particular profile (normal development, MMR vaccination, bowel disease, leading to autism) to support the orginal hypothesis, then it would have zero scientific credibility. It is not enough to find confirmatory cases to prove a hypothesis. I can easily prove all cars are red, if I decide to go outside my office and have a study design that only allows the counting of red cars, and ecludes yellow, green and silver ones."

To Cox's dismay, that is exactly what these authors did, they excluded everyone else. To disprove the MMR causes gut problems and/or autism, they need a control that has no GI complications with thriving measles virus. Now, if they find as many measles virus in these tissues, then you can say, look measles virus is having a party in everybody's intestines and most people are aight.

In other words, they need to do what Uhlmann et al. did (have a rainbow of cars; a control group more representative of the population):

Amazing how Cox, the purveyor of poisonous yellow cards, immediately dismisses the 2002 study above which had about 4 times as many patients in the study, had a much better design, rainbows of cars etc. etc.

The Hornig et al. study:

even cites the 2002 study above and states:

"Our results differ with reports noting MV RNA in ileal biopsies of 75% of ASD vs. 6% of control children [10], [41]. Discrepancies are unlikely to represent differences in experimental technique because similar primer and probe sequences, cycling conditions and instruments were employed in this and earlier reports; furthermore, one of the three laboratories participating in this study performed the assays described in earlier reports."

So, laboratory checking for measles virus were similar (note: Uhlmann also had numerous positive and negative controls in place), but such a different outcome? You'll also find that Uhlmann had, as stated, a rainbow of cars.

What is interesting is that Uhlmann mainly biopsied the ileal lymphoid tissue and found "Measles virus was identified within the follicular dendritic cells and some lymphocytes in foci of reactive follicular hyperplasia."

Now, within the Uhlmann control group (rainbow of cars) you'll see that the 5 positive samples for measles virus were in: 1) 4 patients with appendicitis and 2) one patient that was "normal"

The two positive samples for Hornig were found, guess where...that's right in the lymphoid follicular tissue (just like Uhlmann--substantiates Uhlmann with four times the numbers)... "Both subjects with positive samples had reactive lymphoid follicles (RLF). In the AUT/GI subject, RLF were present in both small and large intestine; the control had RLF restricted to colon. Endoscopy revealed inflammation in both subjects: the case had nonspecific gastritis; the control had acute distal esophagitis. Other cases and controls had RLF and/or inflammation in their upper and lower GI tracts, but MV sequences were not detected in their GI samples."

So, the autistic patient had reactive lymphoid follicles in both intestines while the control it was restricted to the colon. Hmmm...

And, what exactly does "other cases and controls had RLF and/or inflammation mean"? What a vague statement! That leaves a ton of questions open.

Now, in the Hornig study under the section "sample acquisition" this is how they describe the tissues they biopsied..."For analyses of MV RNA, four random samples were taken from superficial mucosae of ileum and cecum. Additional specimens were acquired at sites indicative of inflammatory GI lesions, if present." Hmmm...doesn't look like they looked too hard. Perhaps their colonoscope was on the narrow angle setting. Superficial mucosae? Are you kidding me? Did Hornig see any mature lymphocytes? Cuz Uhlmann also found measles virus associated with those cells too?

But despite all this, the PhD of the blacktriangle and many others, brains say "case closed", based on Hornig while ignoring the rather alarming results of Uhlmann which looks to have a vastly superior study protocol while using similar lab techniques.

P.S. Did the autistic patient in the Hornig study get diagnosed with autism before or after MMR (looks like even with that crap study it's a 50/50 chance)? Just wondering, I couldn't find it in the study...but then again, I could have been dumbed down while reading it.

When did the "control" patient get the MMR, before or after having GI problems? In fact, it looks like 77% of the "control" group had MMR after GI onset! I guess my bet is pretty safe with MMR after GI onset. Hey Anthony, who's excluding all the car colors?

P.P.S. what a joke