2/12/2010

Because The Monkeys Tell Me So

Monkeys are all the rage these days. Handley practically foams at the mouth over them. Somebody, please, show him the damn monkeys already. It's not just monkeys that are the rage, though. Shifting goal posts are as well. Wakefield, lionized by the anti-vaxing parents for showing them that it was the measles in their children's leaky guts (ack) causing all their problems, now is all about the HepB in the monkeys showing it's that HepB vax at birth that does it. So, while some anti-vaxing parents still scream about the measles, Wakefield, and his study showing the parents are right, other prominent (really loud) anti-vaxers stridently proclaim Wakefield did no such thing. It was a case series, damnitalltohell! And it was about the gastro issues! He never linked autism to the MMR, no he didn't! All while touting the monkeys and the HepB. Okay.

Folks on the outside looking in at this gyrations would assume that these tortuous leaps bypassing logic  must be incredibly hard to do, but I doubt the folks twisting in the wind are even aware of how they twist, turn, contort.

So, monkeys are everywhere now and proof positive that it's the mercury in the HepB shot given at day one to blame for autism. That's okay, though, because thank the heavens, there is a cure! Clay detox baths! Woohoo! But don't worry when it doens't work immediately. I mean, Jenny didn't give up, did she? She kept plugging away!

What is with the monkeys? And the number 14? Mike Adams thinks there are 14 monkeys. The nutter person recommending clay baths to cure autism thinks it's 14 monkeys. Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey (who no way wrote that press release, really?) think it's 14 monkeys, and Age of Autism apparently agrees with them since they ran it and ran it with the title of "A Statement from Jenny McCarthy & Jim Carrey: Andrew Wakefield, Scientific Censorship, and Fourteen Monkeys":

"We urge the media to take a close look at the first phase of the monkey study discussed above and to start asking a very simple question: What was the final outcome of the 14 primates that were vaccinated using the U.S. vaccine schedule and how did that compare to the unvaccinated controls?"

Hewitson et al. (2009), though, had 20 monkeys. 13 of them they gave HepB at day 1, 7 they didn't. Not 14 monkeys. And it's irrelevant.

Why, you ask, is this whole 13 monkeys, 14 monkeys irrelevant? Well, see, here's where it gets really interesting. If you want to read this study, you go here: the 14 studies site by Handley. Thoughtful House has a press release on how it was published online in September 2009. I went to the journal itself, though, straight to Neurotoxicology to look for the article since it's getting all this attention from the anti-vaxers as proof that it is proof of mercury causing autism. Guess what? It isn't there! Don't believe me? It's been withdrawn.




You think that Thoughful House has a press release up on this? Nope. Age of Autism? Nope. Generation Rescue? Nope.

In fact, it almost looks like they were all trying to divert attention from the fact that this piece was withdrawn. Guess there will be no part two to the study, huh?

Oh, but if you wanted to quote the withdrawn from press UNPUBLISHED study, here's how it would  be sited, according to the copy released at 14 Studies:

Hewitson L, et al. Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a
thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight, Neurotoxicology (2009), doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2009.09.008

24 comments:

dkmnow said...

You know what this means, don't you? Yep, that's right, it means...

(waaait for it!)

OMG NEUROTOXICOLOGY IS CONSPIRING WITH BIG PHARMA TO POISON OUR BABIEZZZ OHNOES!!!11!111one

Sullivan said...

thanks for the info. I had to blog it too.

I wonder when they knew. Did they know before Jenny and Jim's statement?

In other words, did Jenny and Jim write that knowing that the paper was being withdrawn?

Sullivan said...

so, where will it appear--medical veritas or autism insights?su

Socrates said...

Wakefield's been Wombled!

Science Mom said...

KWombles, Another hat-tip from us at Just the Vax. As I said, I accessed it just last night and either didn't notice the 'Withdrawn' or it just wasn't then.

Sullivan, since I doubt that MV or AI care about duplicate publications (the more the better right?) and Andy himself is an editor for both, then perhaps they will simply appear in both.

Should I be this delighted in anticipation of AoA's and GenRes' response to this?

davidbrown said...

I wonder if GR et al didn't time their press releases to precede what they knew was coming.

Socrates said...

Couldn't help but notice CAoA got five stars here.

A conspiracy of monkeys?

Nostrum said...

You rock so hard for noticing this. And I'm with the others - I bet they pushed the press release in anticipation of "being persecuted by big pharma" on this one as well.

KWombles said...

@dkmnow Oh noes! We need a pic of an lolcat with paws splayed and a look of shock, but I'm too lazy to go find one!

@Sullivan, the more who put that info out there, the better! Did Jim and Jenny read their statement? :-)

@Socrates :-) 5 stars, woot! Moving up there, huh?

@Science mom, ahh, isn't the anticipation of how they'll spin it almost mouth-wateringly delicious?

@nostrum, thanks, and to think it all started with the clay baths thing, which had been my intended topic. :-)

Clay said...

Someone who goes by the name "the 14 monkeys experiment" has been posting comments around, which seem to agree with the blogposts they're commenting on, but are really just trying to get people to click on the name to read their stupid article, which quotes Mike Adams, Wakefield, and Jim and Jenny. Clay baths nonsense too.

I deleted the comment, but it was published on Larry's blog last night.

davidbrown said...

Clay paths? But clays contain aluminum, and the anti-vaxers keep saying aluminum is bad.

Clay said...

I just posted this on Mitchell's latest:

Actually, we don't like Carley any better than we like you. You should recall that from that old abfh post, where you're both called out for being a traitor. He just has more business sense than you do.

BTW, I was married, had 2 children, and wasn't Dx'd until I was 53. I welcome the DSM V, and have always considered us all "in the same boat".


Mitchell uses such tortuous logic, I guess it's that "precarious precunius" of his acting up. ;-)

KWombles said...

@Clay,

Pretty sure that's the person recommending those clay baths. :-)

Socrates said...

17 monkeys, surely?

Sullivan said...

OK, I am officially confused.

Does someone have to take a bath with Clay? Or does the bath detox Clay?

Socrates said...

No, I think it's a barefoot walk along a clay path.

KWombles said...

:-)Surely, or 18 monkeys! The monkeys' are the limit in place of the sky is the limit?

Sullivan,

Baths with Clay? Hah. Clay would have to tell us if that's ever "cured" anyone of autism. :-)

Nah,it looks like they mean clay-clay. It's the 14 monkeys study commenter going around, he/she writes: "Detoxifying mercury through clay baths is a slow and gradual process. So, it's recommended that the patient take weekly clay baths for a minimal period of six months."

I wonder how much that costs? Yeah, my kids (and I) have texture issues, so even if I were inclined to buy the woo, sitting submerged in clay not happening. Sullivan, not even if there were a nun there to insist. :-)

Sullivan said...

So, if Clay takes a bath in the clay, will he absorb the bad stuff out of the bath?

Sorry Clay--got to have some fun with this.

The "magnetic clay" baths thing is such a clear example of nonsense passing for "treatment".

If groups like Generation Rescue, NAA, SafeMinds, etc. would distance themselves from any one clearly useless therapy, they would improve their credibility significantly.

Clay said...

That's okay, Sullivan, you should be able to make fun of this clay bath nonsense. Almost as ridiculous as that Buttar cream that was being hawked years ago. (Still is? I dunno.) Those people are nuts.

Mom26children said...

Do parents REALLY believe that the clay removes minerals ??
What would make a person go down that path of woo?

Oh, yeah, I remember....
they are desperate....

SO VERY SAD !!!!

"Grendel" said...

Ahhhh it IS 14 Monkeys when you know the correct formula for the calculation of Monkeys.

First you have to consider that monkey are agile little suckers so all that moving around means that in any given laboratory environment you have to have an accurate measure of the internal dimensions of the lab.

Once this is done you allocate an appropriate allocation of cubic meterage per primate, add this to the quotient of feed mass over excreta mass multiplied by the potency of the medication you are administering to monkeys to obtain a benchmark for allocation of primates as appropriate during the course of research.

Naturally there are several variables in the above formula but it is not necessary to be concerned with tracking changes that move the primate count at any point during the clinical trial since the results were pre-determined during the seance and checked against the results of the augury - the chicken guts confirmed the initial assumption and we can confirm that 14 monkeys is the correct mystical (or is that mythical) number required.

Everything described above is nonsense - by an odd coincidence so is the Wakefield/Hewitson study.

At the very least they could have got their methodology right.

davidbrown said...

I only just noticed that "Show me the monkeys" ends with a flippant reference to my letter to Neurotoxicology. Here's my reply, just in case it doesn't appear at AoA:
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. 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.

kathleen said...

What would Charlton Heston say? perhaps.."get your stinkin paws off of me you damn dirty apes"

KWombles said...

Grendel, it is hilarious nonsense!