Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Censored on J.B. Handley: Show Me The Monkeys

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  1. Posted at Age of Autism on Feb. 10, 2010 at 9:55am (EST)

    @JB Handley

    In your list of things the scientist would find, you forgot increasing awareness of ASDs, expansion of diagnostic criteria, increased sensitivity of screening tools (meaning we can catch ASDs earlier, but also have greater incidence of false-positives) and some recent research showing that some portion of ASDs may be due to the parents' age.

    Your response to the lack of an animal model is, at best, tepid. Even Wakefield, et al., recent monkey study does not replicate the symptoms or progress of autism. As to Wakefield's study itself, others have already addressed its flaws, not least of which is the miniscule, apparently after-the-fact control group.

    Your listing of how many vaccines an infant receives by 6 months is also disingenuous. Wasn't it Wakefield himself that said the MMR should be broken into three separate shots (not that vaccines should be eliminated)? So, infants would be subjected to a greater number of jabs, and therefore a greater exposure to everything one finds in a vaccine besides the antigen.

    You also suggest that Wakefield was just reacting to parents and what was apparent, when the evidence shows that Wakefield was responding to payments from a lawyer, as well as his own interests with a single measles vaccine.

    You also repeat the simplistic "vaccinated vs. unvaccinated" study. How would it be structured? Randomized? If not randomized, then lifestyle biases creep in, as the vaccinated and unvaccinated arms would not be equivalent. Have you given any thought as to all of the confounding variables there would be? How would you suggest they be controlled for?

    Show me the monkeys indeed.

    This has been cross-posted to Silenced by Age of Autism.

  2. I had a similar idea and created Age of Ignorance at Visits are welcome.

  3. I wrote the letter to Neurotoxicology, and I must insist that certain things be noted. First, I sent the letter last November, as soon as I became aware of the paper. The omission of this information suggests that you are trying to incorporate it into your allegation of a timed “campaign” against Wakefield. Second, I ensured that my exchange was documented thoroughly and in a timely way, and made available to whom it might concern. Thus, to speak of "claimed" and "alleged" is quite frivolous. Finally, my only arguments were the evidence that Wakefield committed fraud, and the standard professional penalties for fraud. I said nothing whatsoever about the honesty or quality of Wakefield's current work. Therefore, to precede a discussion of my correspondence with a hypothetical line about "poisoned" monkeys is entirely deceptive.


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