Blathering Nonsense and an Epic Fail: Age of Autism

Yesterday, AoA was busy. Boy, between Stagliano's piece on Huff, which I broke down here on Countering, and her appearance on CNN (thank you, Orac, for dissecting that so eloquently that I feel no need to subject myself to repeated viewings), she must be feeling pretty puffed up as she works at rewriting the AoA history. Sure, that "case series" may have been used since 1998 by the anti-vaxers as proof that vaccines are to blame, but since  Stagliano has always been of the belief that it was thimerosal in vaccines that caused the autism in her two oldest and Stagliano's personal toxic mercury overload inherited by the third unvaccinated daughter, it's no big deal to support Wakefield's helping the GI problems while backing away from the idea that it was ever an MMR-vaccine link. Easy for her, anyway. Not so easy for her buds who still think its the MMR, still call Wakefield's "case series" a study that linked the MMR with autism. Ah well, maybe they don't discuss that stuff when they get together, since they all pretty much hate vaccines equally. Stagliano especially loves to go on and on about Gardisil over at AoA, even though they've never implicated that vaccine in autism. But, sure, AoA is the daily autism epidemic newspaper. Sure it is.

Today, things remain busy for the Wakefield cult. Olmsted has a piece up on AoA that has absolutely no substance to it at all, just a lot of hot air and the opportunity for the folks over there to bitch about how the global governmental-industrial conspiracy has skewered a saint, an innocent man, a great man, a man who just  wants to help, dammit!

Wandering the comments section of Age of Autism is often a surreal experience that is not for the faint of heart.

"AoA is the most reliable source of autism news on the internet!"

The AoAers are up in arms, trying to back away from the whole study thing, and yet from Jan 28th on their site:

"Was the 1998 Lancet article based on a research study or a case study?

The Lancet article was based on a case study. Case studies do not have control groups."

And here they refer to this as a link between GI issues and autism:
"The verdict comes less than a month after an article in the journal Pediatrics1 urged further study of a link between gastrointestinal disturbances and autism originally pointed out by Dr. Wakefield in 1998."

What about this concerning Wakefield and studies?

"The GMC will no doubt be helped by a press that barely understands the debate and has never read any of the dozens of studies published by Dr. Wakefield in many different respected medical journals."

Not enough?

"Dr. Wakefield’s article suggested a possible but yet unproven connection between bowel disease and the MMR vaccine. His article focused on a case study of 12 children with neuropsychiatric disorders and bowel disease. At a press conference highlighting the release of his article, Dr. Wakefield suggested breaking up the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine into three separate injections for safety reasons."

More, perhaps?

"Also like Galileo, Wakefield didn’t originate the idea that vaccines might play a role in autism, but has become the most prominent developer of the idea."

Yeah, they can slip-slide on this and try to draw emphasis away from the MMR/autism thing and argue that his focus is on GI issues in kids with autism and healing them, but everything quoted so far is from this YEAR.

"Dr Andrew Wakefield, the gastroenterologist who in 1998 raised the possibility of a link between autism, bowel disease and the MMR jab, will learn whether he has been found guilty of ethical breaches in research methods."  --Sally Beck

John Stone:

"1) The persistence of measles of virus in the gut (the most controversial part of Wakefield’s hypothesis) is an established reality

2) The epidemiological evidence base for the safety of MMR vaccine (and particularly in relation to autism) is non-existent

3) Autism incidence has spun out of control despite denials"

Anne Dachel's pretty damn sure it was a study:

"It makes no sense for Lauer to imply that if it weren’t for Wakefield ’s study, we wouldn’t be having his debate. Wakefield did the study because the question was being raised."
How about some more?

"Lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield reported on 12 children who had developed autism and bowel disease following MMR vaccination."

Eventually, I have the feeling I'm going to get tired of providing examples before I run out of them:

"Clearly in writing up the paper, especially because the cases were self-referred, the authors had to mention the fact that a number of parents had told Dr Wakefield that the onset of first gastrointestinal problems that were followed by ASD like developments had coincided with their child having received the MMR vaccination "

Wakefield, in his nazi-linking post at AoA, hems and haws and is careful to say that his case series just reported what parents said. It's the parents' fault on the linking of the two. Never mind that he argued he found the measles virus in their intestines. Wakefield writes:

"That vaccines may do so is acknowledged (by, among others, autism expert Professor Sir Michael Rutter ) and is not actually the debate at hand; the real questions are, which children and how many? The base of the tsunami that is the autism epidemic – one sustained hitherto, by competing arguments for the rising number of diagnoses and those invested in non-environmental causes – is no longer able to support its top."
Walker writes:
"After work over the next decade, Dr Wakefield came increasingly to the latter conclusion, and was convinced that it was the vaccine measles strain, in combination with the strains of mumps and rubella, that was responsible for the gastrointestinal condition and, in this relatively small subset of children, also for the regressive autism from which many of them suffered."

I have not provided examples of all the posts involving Wakefield and the idea that the MMR is to blame for autism, and I'm only back to May 2009.

Age of Autism has been squarely behind the idea and promulgated the idea that Wakefield linked the MMR to autism. They cannot rewrite their own history to anyone but themselves. And it's doubtful that all of their followers will accept a rewrite of something in which their identities as autism warriors of vaccine-damaged children is put at risk. That's okay, though, because we should keep in mind that Wakefield has made the leap to the Hep-B vaccine as complicit in autism causation.


Sirenity said...

Nice work Kim !

kathleen said...

There is something in those B12 pops I'm telling you..Dammit Kim (S) I'm a study not a series! Yes, well done indeed!

AutismNewsBeat said...

"He was a kind man. He was a wise man. He had plans, he had wisdom."