Sep 08 2008

Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism

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Comments: 26

A new study published in PLOS One shows no association between the MMR vaccine and autism or the presence of measles virus in the gut of children with autism and GI symptoms. This is yet more evidence against the claim that the MMR vaccine is responsible for some autism cases. Of course, no one study can clearly settle a complex medical question. The entire literature must be taken as a whole, and when we do this it becomes clear that the evidence is strongly against any association between MMR and autism. This new study is an important addition, and strengthens this conclusion.

This study has some interesting features. The lead author is Mady Hornig – who (until this study) was one of the research darlings of the anti-vaccine crowd. It will be difficult for the anti-vaccinationists to dismiss this study as coming from a vested interest or someone with an agenda, as they have previously be extolling the virtues of this particular researcher. Further, in the press release we learn:

(John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Mailman School’s Center for Infection and Immunity) adds, “The study design process was a critical piece for us, as there is still so much public concern over the safety of the MMR vaccine. For this reason, we involved the autism parent/advocacy community as we designed the study to ensure that all issues were being addressed. We are hopeful that this process of community engagement will build important partnerships among members of the autism community, physicians, public health agencies, and clinical researchers; serve as a paradigm for the conduct of future studies to understand the causes of this disorder; and facilitate the rapid communication of clinically relevant scientific findings to the broader community.”

I would love for this to be true. I applaud the approach – the scientific community reaching out to public groups, involving them in research design so that everyone can agree upon the results. This is what happens within the scientific community – both sides of a controversy come together and design a study that everyone can agree on. These are often referred to as consensus trials as they are meant to build consensus out of controversy. I have seen this work within my own field. Unfortunately, the anti-vaccinationists are ideologues not interested in the objective findings of science.

The study itself was a deliberate attempt to replicate the original study by Andrew Wakefield that sparked the entire MMR-autism scare in the first place. That Wakefield study has subsequently been refuted, specifically the lab he used to look for measles virus RNA in the guts of children with autism and GI symptoms was shown to be fatally flawed. The lab Wakefield used was run by professor O’Leary, and the process he used at the time by testimony left out key steps and therefore the results were worthless. Interestingly Hornig used O’Leary’s lab again, along with two other labs for confirmation.

The results showed that (from the abstract):

The objective of this case-control study was to determine whether children with GI disturbances and autism are more likely than children with GI disturbances alone to have MV RNA and/or inflammation in bowel tissues and if autism and/or GI episode onset relate temporally to receipt of MMR. The sample was an age-matched group of US children undergoing clinically-indicated ileocolonoscopy. Ileal and cecal tissues from 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls) were evaluated by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for presence of MV RNA in three laboratories blinded to diagnosis, including one wherein the original findings suggesting a link between MV and ASD were reported. The temporal order of onset of GI episodes and autism relative to timing of MMR administration was examined. We found no differences between case and control groups in the presence of MV RNA in ileum and cecum. Results were consistent across the three laboratory sites. GI symptom and autism onset were unrelated to MMR timing. Eighty-eight percent of ASD cases had behavioral regression.

So, there was no more incidence of having measles virus in the gut for children with and without autism, and there was no correlation in the timing of the MMR vaccine and the onset of GI symptoms or autism. As Hornig herself says, this removes the last bit of evidence put forth for an association between MMR and autism, by replicating the original Wakefield study and finding negative results. Therefore Wakefield’s claims have failed a critical component to the process of science – replication. And no one can reasonably claim bias in this case.

Sounds like a slam dunk against the MMR-autism link claim. Maybe the antivaccinationists will move on. Keep in mind that MMR has never had thimerosal in it and so this is a distinct claim from the one that thimerosal is linked to autism. When the MMR-autism link was going down in flames (even before this study) the anti-vaccine crowd moved onto thimerosal. Now that the thimerosal claim is scientifically dead they are moving on to “other toxins” in vaccines. This gets back to Dr. Snow’s wishful thinking above – the anti-vaccinationists will not be moved by this study. I still think such consensus trials are important, because it does further marginalize such fringe groups and the anti-vaccine movement, even though it does not touch the core of such movements.

Orac predicted a few days ago that the anti-vaccinationists would try to spin this study as support for the MMR hypothesis. He hinted at inside information, which has now been born out. Over at Age of Autism this is the spin:

However the study inadvertently gives credence to Wakefield and O’Leary’s previous work on measles virus and validates their earlier findings. It also substantiates the link between autistic regression and gastrointestinal disorder reported by Wakefield in his 1998 Lancet article.

The assumption is that because O’Leary’s results in this study were validated by two other labs, than his work 6 years ago must also have been legitimate.  This ignores the possibility that O’Leary cleaned up his lab’s act in response to the prior specific criticisms about procedure. I doubt Hornig would have used his lab if those deficiencies had not been corrected. AOA’s argument, therefore, is simply ludicrous.

The new study does suggest, however, that there may be an association between regressive autism and GI disorders (although not with the MMR or the measles virus). This requires further study and a common causality may be found.

The MMR-autism hypothesis was dead before this study was published, but this is yet more evidence against this notion. Yet the fears have been stoked, and the anti-vaccine ideologues continue their campaign to spread vaccine-preventable diseases.

The bigger picture here is the difference between how the scientific community behaves and how an ideological group behaves. Scientists are moved by the evidence, and will carefully examine questions just to be thorough – even beyond the practical need. They also (sometimes naively) live in a world where people are compelled by logic and evidence.  The anti-vaccinationists are not compelled by science or reason. They are starting with their conclusion and will embrace any evidence that supports it, no matter how dubious, and will dismiss any evidence that opposes it, no matter how solid.

Skeptics encounter this situation often. In this case, the anti-vaccinationists are causing direct demonstrable harm.

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26 responses so far

26 Responses to “Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism”

  1. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Well, although I heard news of this study on CNN when it first came out, I wasn’t impressed. What is with the incredibly sparse test and control groups? I am not a scientist, but I would think that there would be no lack of volunteers in terms of parents who are willing to have their children tested in order to gain answers.

    Is it the case that the MMR may not CAUSE Autism, but could push other conditions (such as mitochondrial disorder) over the edge and into an autistic scenario?

    Another question – Why is it that, for the purposes of categorization, it seems that everything from misbehavior to minor attention deficit all the way to stimming and banging one’s head against the wall is considered Autism? Is that not problematic in terms of sheer reporting numbers? For example, a couple of months ago, a feral child was found in a home and was extracted and placed with another family. She was seven at the time, and they characterized her in news reports as “environmentally autistic.” Whatever happened to “developmentally disabled?” I was perfectly fine with that terminology, and in fact, it applies more fully and makes more sense.

    It just seems to me that whomever is labeling the problem certainly isn’t doing much to reduce the panic, but is, in fact, making it worse. There are people whose children are severely autistic commenting on other people who are claiming their child to be autistic without an official diagnosis, and saying “Yeah, that mother/father doesn’t know what autism is – maybe they should come over to my house.”

    This is like the scare with ADD/ADHD ten years ago – every five year old who couldn’t sit still in class for five minutes had ADD/ADHD and was put on meds. It’s rediculous.

    I really wish they would do more clinical studies with larger groups of people – less than 40 subjects seems pointless.

    From what I’ve seen on a small level, the anti-vaccinationists, along with parents of autistic kids (pro/anti), certainly aren’t thinking this study “puts this to bed once and for all.” They want to see broader studies. They still hold to Wakefield, despite the flaws. The floodgates have opened with that Wakefield study and no one is going to let them close until there are more comprehensive studies and more conclusive results.

  2. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Addendum – I have an eleven month old boy who is about to have his MMR. I am scared to death now that I know some parents who deal with Autism. I don’t know what to do, and frankly, I am sick of all the contradictory information out there. My five year old was vaccinated fully with NO side effects. We have no history of auto-immune disorders in our family and no history of mental/neurological disorders either.

    It’s just that I talk to these parents, and they say things like “Well, my child was perfectly normal and then all of a sudden, we lost him, like he just disappeared.” What could be scarier than that?

  3. Steven Novellaon 08 Sep 2008 at 12:55 pm

    How about dying from measles?

    I agree that this was a smallish study, and that is its primary weakness. Resources for laboratory testing, etc. was probably the limiting factor, not volunteers. But the numbers are sufficient as a test of replication of the Wakefield data, which is suspect to begin with.

    Your premise is that if we study this enough the anti-vaccinationists will be satisfied. History shows that this is not true – they will never be satisfied. No amount of evidence appears to be sufficient to move them from their conclusions, so they will always call for more research. It is easy to make the call for more study sound reasonable, until you look at all the research that has already been done (which shows a lack of association between the MMR vaccine and autism) and you see the history of the movement, which is ideological and not evidence-based.

  4. Fifion 08 Sep 2008 at 1:05 pm

    “Well, my child was perfectly normal and then all of a sudden, we lost him, like he just disappeared.” What could be scarier than that?”

    I have no doubt it is frightening for parents, particularly if they don’t have any understanding of autism. I also understand how tempting it is to want to blame someone. What would be scarier than watching you child regress is watching your child die of a preventable disease because you were conned by someone who profits from selling useless treatments to desperate parents who are seeking someone to blame. (I can’t imagine that many parents of autistic children don’t blame themselves on some level.)

    So being able to blame science/medicine/doctors, who parents are already frustrated with because they honestly say the don’t know when they don’t know and don’t make wild promises about their child becoming normal (or don’t consider their autistic child a more highly evolved “indigo child” and tell the parent they’re special mystical beings too), is a convenient target for their disappointment that their child isn’t going to fulfill the dreams they had, their frustration that there are few definitive answers and their general rage (a pretty normal facet of mourning, just misdirected in this case).

    The horrible irony is that anti-vaxers expose their and all kinds of other kids to preventable diseases that can be fatal or cause permanent brain damage because they (falsely) believe that they can prevent autism by preventing kids from being vaccinated. (That they cling to this belief even in the face of evidence indicates that it’s a highly emotional not a rational belief.)

  5. amaon 08 Sep 2008 at 1:07 pm

    In western industrial countries the risk of dying by measles is about 1:400.

    http://www.failbook.de/#post4
    http://www.pharmamafia.de

  6. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I am all for vaccinations, and have subjected myself to multiple myself having been in the military. As I have said, my five year old is fully vaccinated on the schedule with no side effects. I never had a problem until now.

    What I don’t really get is what is in it for the anti-vaxers? I guess I find it hard to believe that the attainment of pop-notariety is enough to throw the entire parental populace into a panic tailspin.

    Does it really reduce to satiating the need to blame something for this problem? That is the cause of all this madness? As you know, everyone who types on the internet acts like an expert. I guess I am just tired of it.

  7. Fifion 08 Sep 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Dr Novella – It seems to me that while the anti-vaxers wrap up their beliefs in ideology it’s not really driven by ideology. There seem to be three main motivators and types of people who promote these beliefs.

    1. distraught parents, particularly moms (for the reasons I noted above). You can maybe reach some of these people but there’s a huge emotional wall – with ramparts made of guilt and shame – to overcome. It’s pretty difficult to actually impact an argument from emotion by using evidence and logic, so the important thing here would be to reach the parents BEFORE they reject the recommended therapies (though some use both, others delay and this means they miss a very big window of opportunity to help their child).

    2. People who profit commercially from promoting these ideas, so their motivation is profit even though it’s wrapped up in ideology (these would be people offering quack cures and milking desperate parents for money). These people feed the parents the ideology and flimflam them with pseudoscience. They profit from this so no evidence will get in the way of their making money, some may believe in what they do but many are just quacks who exploit parents’ misery and confusion.

    3. schizophrenics and the frankly psychotic, paranoid and delusional who think everything is a conspiracy, that aliens/demons are out to get them and control the world/universe and so on. One of the features of some psychiatric illnesses – schizophrenia in particular – is the feeling that one is being controlled by unseen forces and that things are being inserted in the body to do so. (In some ways, this experience of being “taken over” or “controlled” is actually accurate in an odd way, it’s just a result of neurobiology not something supernatural.) Mania and obsessive behavior can also be a feature, and so is the desire to avoid recognizing that one’s own senses and cognitive processes have gone haywire by trying to bring others into the delusion. Clearly evidence isn’t going to have any impact here since it’s not about reality. (Of course, many people who are schizophrenic do accept their biology and work to stay grounded. Ditto people who have psychotic breaks. I’m very specifically talking about people who go to great lengths to try to impose their delusion on reality and recruit followers.)

  8. amaon 08 Sep 2008 at 1:44 pm

    @TracyScott

    >What I don’t really get is what is in it for the anti-vaxers?

    They try to abolish ALL which is against their belief. For them it is a djihad.

    Most people think that anti-vaccs want to avoid vaccinations for THEIR OWN children. That is a very big error. In Germany the anti-vaccs filed petitions to the bundestag. Their aim was to forbid health insurances (like the AOK) to pay the HPV vaccination. And they set for greed: “The vaccinations cost so much money. I do not want to pay for others”.

    Anti-vaccs are sociopaths.

    They are among the worst possible id.iots we have. And this makes them vulnerable in one point: that they will have to admit to themselves what their real nature is.

    The consequence of this is simple and brutal: They MUST NEVER ADMIT that they are wrong. Because in that very moment their whole reason to exist would implode. They would see themselves not only as nuts, but as responsible for the death of their and other children. They are zeroes, shit, dirt.

    This makes their fight for their belief much more important than for any other thing. They REALLY do fight for their lives.

    This is true for many esotters, but in this case is has a direct connection with death.

    This special type of insanity must be critisized AT THE POINT. You have no idea how deeply you with hit anti-vaccs with that. :-)

  9. Fifion 08 Sep 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I’m no expert, I just happen to live somewhere with a very high incidence of autism so a lot of research is done here and I worked as a volunteered with autistic kids as a teenager (that was back in the 70s). I also know two people with autistic children so understand from a more personal level the frustration that parents face and just how exhausting it is for moms of autistic kids. One has started to go the alternative route (diet only so far) but she’s still doing conventional stuff and ultimately all her kids are benefiting from the extra attention to diet. (Autistic kids tend to limit what they eat, to like junk food and to act out if they don’t get what they want, any kid that lives on a diet of junk food is going to show improved behavior and self control if put on a good diet – as all her kids have. The same is true for adults.)

  10. kevleitchon 08 Sep 2008 at 2:38 pm

    TraceyScott – I have an eight year old with severe autism. Its not the vaccines :)

    I have blogged about this issue for 5 years, I have spoken with my fellow parents, autistic people themselves, scientists like Dr Novella and ‘scientists’ from the side that do believe it and it is as plain as the nose on my face – vaccines do not cause autism.

    I’d also like to inject a little realism into all the doom here – autism is very hard work, yes. It is not nearly as bad all the time as I am hearing it described by people on here. There are bad times and good times. The bottom line is – I’d much rather have my lovely child autistic and alive than unvaccinated and dead.

  11. amaon 08 Sep 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Hi, Kevin! Nice to meet you again!

  12. Fifion 08 Sep 2008 at 2:57 pm

    kevleitch – Sorry if it sounded like I was implying that there is no joy or rewards to be had when raising an autistic child! That wasn’t my intention – I was mainly addressing what seem to me to be reasons why some parents blame vaccines or seek unproven treatments (and flat out quackery). I’d be curious to know just how many parents of autistic children believe the anti-vax propaganda since I suspect it’s not the majority but a very vocal minority….does anyone have any insight into this?

  13. superdaveon 08 Sep 2008 at 5:18 pm

    This is something to consider. From the NIH

    “Pediatricians, family physicians, daycare providers, teachers, and parents may initially dismiss signs of ASD, optimistically thinking the child is just a little slow and will “catch up.” Although early intervention has a dramatic impact on reducing symptoms and increasing a child’s ability to grow and learn new skills, it is estimated that only 50 percent of children are diagnosed before kindergarten.”

    Both of these statements imply to me that it is very plausible that parents who claim that children who are normal one day and showing signs of autism the next are really in denial about their child’s condition untill the symptoms become obvious.

    There are many other facts about autism that make me feel thi is very plausible, for example (again from the NIH website)

    “Children with ASD do not follow the typical patterns of child development. In some children, hints of future problems may be apparent from birth. In most cases, the problems in communication and social skills become more noticeable as the child lags further behind other children the same age. Some other children start off well enough. Oftentimes between 12 and 36 months old, the differences in the way they react to people and other unusual behaviors become apparent. Some parents report the change as being sudden, and that their children start to reject people, act strangely, and lose language and social skills they had previously acquired. In other cases, there is a plateau, or leveling, of progress so that the difference between the child with autism and other children the same age becomes more noticeable.”

    The fact that a child may behave normally in some situations and only show symptoms in others, combined with the fact that the symptoms, by their nature, become more obvious over time, further indicates to me that it can be very easy for it appear as though your child has changed suddenly even if symptoms are not very noticeable early on.

    I want to stress, I am in no way blaming parents, or even saying that it is impossible for their claims of a sudden acute onset of autism to be impossible. However, it seems very likely that a parent may be in denial or simply miss early symptoms.

  14. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 5:50 pm

    What is the opinion of the posters regarding spacing out the MMR into separate shots, or just delaying the MMR altogether?

    I honestly feel that, given all of the contradicting information out there, ‘scientific’ or otherwise, that when I’m in that doctor’s office with my one year old, the nurse pulling the plunger will make me feel like I just played Russian Roulette.

    Any way to be safe and prudent in the same decision? This sucks, for lack of a more scientific term.

  15. superdaveon 08 Sep 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Tracy, I jsut found this study on pubmed.
    study Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):2026-9.Click here to read

    it was a study in england done in 1999. Rates of autism age of onset in 500 kids were studied during the year that the MMR vaccine was introduced to england. The researchers found no changes in the data between children who were and were not vaccinated.

    Not only is this study exactly the kind that anti vaccers say doesn’t exist, it is almost a decade old. You would think that would be enough time for them to find it.

    Another study was done in japan which tracked autism rates after the MMR vaccine was ceased. IT too found no changes.

    1: J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Feb;37(2):210-7.
    MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum disorders: negative results presented from Japan.
    Uchiyama T, Kurosawa M, Inaba Y.

    Department of Human Welfare, Otsuma Women’s University, 2-7-1, Karakida, Tama-city, Tokyo, 206-8540, Japan. tokiouch@otsuma.ac.jp

    It has been suggested that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) is a cause of regressive autism. As MMR was used in Japan only between 1989 and 1993, this time period affords a natural experiment to examine this hypothesis. Data on 904 patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were analyzed. During the period of MMR usage no significant difference was found in the incidence of regression between MMR-vaccinated children and non-vaccinated children. Among the proportion and incidence of regression across the three MMR-program-related periods (before, during and after MMR usage), no significant difference was found between those who had received MMR and those who had not. Moreover, the incidence of regression did not change significantly across the three periods.

  16. HCNon 08 Sep 2008 at 8:18 pm

    TracyScott said “I really wish they would do more clinical studies with larger groups of people – less than 40 subjects seems pointless. ”

    The why is Andrew Wakefield’s study of just 12 children (provided by a lawyer) given more weight than this study, and the more than twenty studies that show no association between the MMR and autism? The MMR vaccine was introduced in 1971, why all the issues just in the last decade? While there are adverse reactions, one of them is not autism, and the risk of measles, mumps and rubella outweigh teeny tiny risk of adverse reactions:
    http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4026.pdf

    TracyScott continued asking “What is the opinion of the posters regarding spacing out the MMR into separate shots, or just delaying the MMR altogether?”

    One of the reasons for an adverse reaction would be a local infection at the injection site. Why do you want to triple that risk? Also, because of low demand the one manufacturer of the single mumps component is stopping production of that single vaccine. That pretty much makes a child vulnerable to that disease (which caused four people to lose their hearing in the American Midwest in 2006).

    And TracyScott continued: “I honestly feel that, given all of the contradicting information out there, ’scientific’ or otherwise, that when I’m in that doctor’s office with my one year old, the nurse pulling the plunger will make me feel like I just played Russian Roulette.”

    Except the real science is not contradicting. The only contradicting information is from those with an agenda, and not necessarily keeping their stories straight. Here are the facts:

    1) Measles used to pretty much infect everyone during their life prior to 1963 when the first measles vaccine came available.

    2) Measles would kill over 500 Americans per year, and left several thousands with permanent disabilities (from deafness, paralysis, blindness to severe mental retardation). Below is a table of cases and deaths from measles fifty years apart (from the CDC Pink Book, Appendix G):

    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_______86______ 1____1950___319124____468
    2001______116______ 1____1951___530118____683
    2002_______44______ 0____1952___683077____618
    2003_______56______ 1____1953___449146____462
    2004_______37______ NA___1954___682720____518
    2005_______66______ NA___1955___555156____345
    2006_______55______ NA___1956___611936____530
    Total______460_______3 or more___3831277___3624

    3) Mumps was once the major cause of post-lingual deafness, and a fairly common cause of male sterility.

    4) Rubella is devastating to unborn babies, causing severe disabilities and death before birth. In the early 1960s there was a rubella epidemic that made a significant impact on families and schools by the numbers of children with Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

    5) In countries where MMR vaccination has been reduced there has been a resurgence in measles and mumps. Japan has had to close college campuses to stem a measles epidemic, and measles is now endemic in the UK.

    6) During the recent cases of measles in the USA that were imported by either unvaccinated Americans coming back with measles (like in San Diego most recently), or by foreign visitors (especially Japan, like a recent outbreak of measles from an international Little League baseball tournament)… many of the children infected were babies too young to get the vaccine. Some of those babies were in the San Diego clinic where the child who got measles in Switzerland came and infected them.

    Really, the science has spoken: there is really very little risk from the MMR vaccine. It has been around for almost forty years.

    With more parents listening to the fearmongering about the vaccine, the herd immunity for measles and mumps has been drastically reduced. If you decide to skip the MMR vaccine when your child in 15 months old, then you ARE playing Russian Roulette with his/her health.

    You know what really “sucks”, is that the whole issue on the MMR vaccine was started by a lawyer who was looking for “research” to bolster a now failed lawsuit. And what really sucks is that because of that lawyer and the less than ethical “research” by Wakefield several people have been hospitalized, some permanently disabled (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece), and two teenagers in the UK are now dead, several Japanese are dead from measles, and we may soon see a repeat of what happened between 1987 and 1991 when over 120 Americans died from measles.

  17. superdaveon 08 Sep 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I hope I am wrong, but I am beginning to suspect that tracy is a troll. Either way, we have given ample evidence that vaccines are safe effective, and important.

  18. HCNon 08 Sep 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Actually, I am willing to think that she is naive and new to the debate. She claims her child is almost one year old, and perhaps she has been getting her information from parenting forums. That is were much of the contradictory information is coming from.

    Those parenting forums, while they are supportive, they can also be very frightening and confusing. Especially where the moderators are like the news media and think there are two very valid sides of the issue. While there are two sides to issues like handling temper tantrums, sleep issues, television exposure, plastic or cloth diaper and other mostly non-health issue, the vaccine issue has these two sides: science and non-science. Non-science is by definition not valid.

    It was probably not until now that she encountered information like Wakefield’s study of a dozen kids was to support a lawsuit, that the MMR has been around since 1971 or that measles actually kills.

  19. amaon 08 Sep 2008 at 9:30 pm

    @HCN

    >4) Rubella is devastating to unborn babies, causing
    >severe disabilities and death before birth.

    How about some bio-terrorism?

    Sorry for the originals in German, but I do not want to make ANY mistake by IN ANY WAY translating ANYTHING wrongly.

    [*QUOTE*]
    ——————————————-
    “Die Röteln sind hochinfektiös. Für jedes Mädchen besteht die Hoffnung, sich irgendwann anzustecken und eine echte Röteln-Erkrankung durchzumachen. Da diese ein Kind körperlich kaum beeinträchtigt, sollten an Röteln erkrankte Kinder nicht zu Hause behalten werden. Sie sollten in die Schule und auf die Straße
    geschickt werden, damit möglichst viele Kinder sich mit echten Röteln anstecken können und dadurch einen verläßlichen Schutz erhalten. In der Literatur sind mehrfach Fälle beschrieben worden, daß Mütter, die gegen Röteln geimpft waren, doch ein Kind mit der gefürchteten Röteln-Embryopathie zur Welt gebracht haben” [539] (Buchwald, 1994, S. 105)
    ——————————————-
    [*/QUOTE*]

    That is a quote out of a book which first was printed in 1994.

    The key sentence is:

    “Sie sollten in die Schule und auf die Straße
    geschickt werden, damit möglichst viele Kinder
    sich mit echten Röteln anstecken können
    und dadurch einen verläßlichen Schutz erhalten.”

    “They” (the children, ill with rubella) “shall be sent in the streets and in the schools, so that as many children as possible will be infected with genuine rubella and thusly get a reliable shield.”

    Author of the book is Buchwald, a German medical doctor. I do not know how man reprints were made, but I do know that Splittstoesser in 1999 published a book, in which he brought a lot of quotes, the above being one of them.

    In april 2008, about 9 years later, I proofed this with Amazon online:

    [*QUOTE*]
    ——————————————————-
    Goldrausch. Oder die Frage: Sind Impfungen notwendig, geeignet und zumutbar?
    (Taschenbuch)
    von Wulf Splittstoeßer (Autor)
    Preis: EUR 23,00
    Verfügbarkeit: Auf Lager.

    Book on Demand (2., überarb. A.)

    Produktinformation

    * Taschenbuch: 396 Seiten
    * Verlag: Splittstoesser Dr. W.; Auflage: 3., überarb. und erg. A. (Dezember 2002)
    * ISBN-10: 3934022383
    * ISBN-13: 978-3934022386
    * Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,8 x 15,4 x 2,8 cm
    ——————————————————-
    [*/QUOTE*]

    Found in a German web-forum in the year 2001:

    [*QUOTE*]
    ——————————————————-
    Was Dr. med. Splittstoeßer zur Röteln-Impfung schreibt
    [ Forum Impfen ]
    Geschrieben von Hans am 28. März 2001 20:40:54:
    Als Antwort auf: Re: Röteln-Impfung nicht vor Eintritt der Fortpflanzungsfähigkeit geschrieben von Dr. Vogelsang am 28. März 2001 16:34:44:
    Quelle: Dr. med. Wulf Splittstoeßer, “Goldrausch”, Seite 258 bis 261
    ——————————————————-
    [*/QUOTE*]

    Together, this sums up to quite a lot.

    FIRST, Buchwald is the originator of this criminal attack.

    SECOND, Splittstoeßer took on with this instigation already in the first edition of his book. He never dissociated from Buchwald’s statement, but by quoting made it to his own statement.

    THIRD, Splittstoeßer instigated to this crime.

    FOURTH, Buchwald in 1994 seems to have published only this book:

    [*QUOTE*]
    ——————————————————-
    Impfen. Das Geschäft mit der Angst (Gebundene Ausgabe)
    von Gerhard Buchwald (Autor)

    Produktinformation
    Gebundene Ausgabe: 254 Seiten
    Verlag: Emu-Verlags-GmbH (1994)
    ISBN-10: 3891890443
    ISBN-13: 978-3891890448
    ——————————————————-
    [*/QUOTE*]

    FIFTH, Buchwald AT LEAST sind 1994 instigated to this crime. Splittstoeßer AT LEAST instigated sind 1999 to this crime.

    14 years Buchwald und 9 years Splittstoeßer could instigate without anyone there to stop them.

    But that is not all. The medical chamber Hessen (“Landesärztekammer Hessen”) has this detail in its web-site:

    http://www.laekh.de/upload/Aerzte_Info/Weiterbildung/WBE_Listen/wbe_listen_5501.pdf

    [*QUOTE*]
    ——————————————————-
    Landesärztekammer Hessen
    Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts
    Im Vogelsgesang 3, 60488 Frankfurt am Main

    Verzeichnis der zur Weiterbildung im Bereich HOMÖOPATHIE
    ermächtigten Ärztinnen und Ärzte in Hessen

    Stand: März 2007

    Weiterbildungs- befugte/r
    Dr. med. Wulf E. Splittstoeßer
    Weiterbildungs- stätte
    Praxis Luisenstraße 4 65779 Kelkheim
    Weiterbildungs- zeitraum
    WBO 1995 36 Monate
    seit
    29.10.1997
    ——————————————————-
    [*/QUOTE*]

    Splittstoeßer is a MEDICAL DOCTOR! Buchald also is a medical doctor.

    Since 14 years the anti-vaccs in Germany and in foreign countries is fueled by German MEDICAL DOCTORS with the instigation of a willfull breach of the “Infektionsschutzgesetz” (Law concerning the protection against infektuous diseases).

    Germany exports bio-terrorism under the seeing eyes of American safeguards…

    Why the hell does the FBI not get its behind moving?

  20. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Well, I’m not a troll. I actually did start frequenting a parenting forum, where a LOT of people on it have autistic kids. It’s a local site, so you can imagine that the sheer number of incidences kind of freaked me out. I started looking around the web for anyone who didn’t perpetuate the vax theory, because I wanted to believe that it wasn’t the case, and I ended up here. Many parents don’t want to believe that the theories are suspicious. I am worried about the compromising of herd immunity. I am also worried about the outside chance, if any, that I could be compromising my child by getting the shots.

    Actually, the MMR is due for my son at 12 months, not 15 (although there is another MMR then as well). I don’t think this was the case for my first son, but I’ll have to check the shot records again.

    I do agree that there are certainly people out there looking for fame/fortune one way or the other. I just think, also, that it is sad that a path such as this is being used.

    I also don’t understand the faith in the Wakefield study, despite all of the failings reported by same. It almost seems like blind faith.

    I was born in 1972, and fully vaccinated in Canada. My son was born in 2002 in the US, and fully vaccinated. Neither of us had any problems – not even fevers, nothing. I, again, had a massive cocktail of shots in the military when I was 20 and I can tell you as a former US Army Medic that we were pretty much guinea pigs for medications, yet nothing happened to anyone I knew. No adverse effects (granted, we were adults, but still).

    Honestly, if I’d never gone on that parenting forum, I probably wouldn’t have given vaccinations a second thought.

  21. HCNon 08 Sep 2008 at 10:45 pm

    TracyScott said “Well, I’m not a troll. I actually did start frequenting a parenting forum, where a LOT of people on it have autistic kids. It’s a local site, so you can imagine that the sheer number of incidences kind of freaked me out.”

    The reason I guessed so was because I used to frequent parenting forums. One of the reasons I preferred the online version (starting in the mid-1990s on Compuserve) was because my oldest son is disabled. When I went to the local live parenting groups I where I was the lone parent of a disabled kid amongst all the perfectly normal kids… I was actually told to “shut-up” because no one wanted to hear about the issues I had with doctor visits, therapy and medication.

    The reason that so many parents of disabled kids are in online forums is because it is easier to connect to parents in the same situation. There seems to be more online, well… because we have trouble finding many other kids like ours in our communities.

    I did find an online community that dealt with my son’s specific disability, but I left it ten years later in disgust. I was getting annoyed at some parents pushing chelation and other questionable treatments (I got lots of nasty grams when I questioned the validity and science of those treatments). The straw that broke the camel’s back was when one of them was actually employed by a DAN! doctor who sold supplements over the internet, and she was actually drumming up business.

    I know first hand about parents of disabled kids are marked as future customers of the scum of the earth who make money out others misfortune. (I can’t wait to get my hand on the new book called “Autism’s False Prophets”!)

    … side note… a friend noticed this weekend that I very seldom speak about my disabled son in person, but speak of my “normal” children… while online I often write about my disabled son, and not the “normal” children so much… It is a definite pattern.

    TracyScott continued: “Actually, the MMR is due for my son at 12 months, not 15 (although there is another MMR then as well). ”

    Agh… you are right, now the first is at 12 months, but the second is between age 4 to 6 years old, see table on page 10, or 12th of pdf file):
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/meas.pdf

    The schedule has changed a bit. My oldest got his first at 15 months, and then his second before going to middle school when he was 12 years old. There was a change to age 4 years for the second dose about the time my youngest entering kindergarten. Since a nearby private school was having a breakout of measles due to a student traveling overseas, I decided to get my two younger kids their second MMR before it was required (and I mean, school close enough that I knew kids going there, some lived in my neighborhood, and well… you get my drift).

    Good luck.

    If you want to read some more online, checkout Dr. Novella’s blogroll, including ScienceBasedMedicine and the ScienceBlogs. I can also be found once in a while on the JREF forums, also listed to the right on this blog as the James Randi Educational Foundation. Also, if you have a the time and an mp3 player, download the weekly Skeptics Guide to the Universe which is also hosted by Dr. Novella.

    (Oh, side note: many many years ago there were parents on my online group who were pushing the Doman-Delacato patterning therapy… I even checked out Glenn Doman’s book “What to do about your brain damaged baby”, only to find it was a book length advertisement for his institute in Pennsylvania, a truly horrible book… Then I found Dr. Novella’s essay on the lack of science behind it, and I felt much better. I then found this great little book called “No Time for Jello” by Berneen Bratt who tried their system for her son with cerebral palsy — she also had a postscript in the book about the lack of science. These were things that actually helped a mom to a disabled kid!)

    By the way, my kids are 14 to 20 years old…. and the oldest has several health issues. This is why I have been part of this debate since he was denied pertussis vaccine due to a history of seizures when our county had a pertussis epidemic, for almost twenty years. You might be interested in some of the books I have read over the past few years, in a weird format due to me keeping track of my library record with Excel because I’ve actually checked things out twice forgetting I had already read or seen them, my library also carries videos and DVDs:
    362.42 Deaf like me / by Spradley, Thomas S. Book (deafness due to rubella during the epidemic)
    614.43 M8338B 2007 The blue death : disease, disaster and the water we dri
    614.47097 AL531V 200 Vaccine : the controversial story of medicine’s greates
    614.49 M233P Plagues and peoples / by McNeill, William Hardy, 1917- Book
    614.514 J6375G The ghost map : the story of London’s most terrifying e
    614.51809 B2797G 2004 The great influenza : the epic story of the deadliest plague in history / John M. Barry.
    614.51809 KOLATA 1999 Flu : the story of the great influenza pandemic of 1918 and the search for the virus that caused it / Gina Kolata.
    615.5 B3286S 2007 Snake oil science : the truth about complementary and a
    614.54909 Of29C 2005 The Cutter incident : how America’s first polio vaccine led to the growing vaccine crisis / Paul A. Offit.
    614.54909 Os45P 2005 Polio : an American story / David M. Oshinsky.
    616.042 M711S 2007 Survival of the sickest : a medical maverick discovers
    616.07909 H557o 2007 Vaccinated : one man’s quest to defeat the world’s deadliest diseases / Paul A. Offit.

  22. TracyScotton 08 Sep 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you for all of the informational reading…when is this book “Autism’s False Prophets” coming out? I guess I can just look it up, right?

    I have noticed that there is a lot of pressure on the parenting forums to either agree or to get the hell out. It’s like this really strange mob mentality. It comes up in terms of religion too. I posted a lengthy piece about being a Secular Humanist and really got flamed for it. I, actually, think I am going to hell now. . lol. Reminds me of Sartre’s play “No Exit,” and I’ll be locked with the worst of that forum, I’m sure; having to answer to nonsensical drivel and forlorian wives tales. Ugh.

    Anycrazy, I’ll stay posted on here for any more info. I have a month and a half to decide what I am going to do. I think I am going to do what I was planning all along and just get the shots.

  23. HCNon 09 Sep 2008 at 12:19 am

    The book, it comes out on Thursday:
    http://www.amazon.com/Autisms-False-Prophets-Science-Medicine/dp/0231146361/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8146471-5500633?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220908521&sr=8-1

    Other books of interest on the subject:
    616.8 SACKS 1995 An anthropologist on Mars : 7 paradoxical tales / Oliver Sacks.
    616.85882 G885U 2007 Unstrange minds : remapping the world of autism /
    618.928588 COL Not even wrong : adventures in autism / Paul Collins

    Good luck with your decision. Some of us find our own communities. Though I should mention that before having kids I did subscribe to the Skeptical Inquirer, so I was not one to walk lock-step with the crowd. Also, the Disabilities and ADD forums on Compuserve fifteen years ago was full of people who looked at the science (what we could find).

    I am also old enough to remember measles, chicken pox, mumps and rubella. I had mumps and was miserable. I also remember having my fingernails cut very short to prevent scratching so I would not get a bacterial infection, oh and making cotton ball chicks to keep me busy. Our next door neighbor’s daughter was deaf due to Congenital Rubella Syndrome. A mom at a real-life parent group had her first child die from meningitis that is now prevented from Hib (and that was in 1989).

    I also live near a Children’s Hospital which gave parenting seminars. Since I was going there often for my son’s hospitalizations, and therapy… it was not so much to go to their talks and use their parent resource library (which I went to before my son got tubes in his ears for recurrent ear infections)… oh, and call up their resource phone line (which I called in desparation when my “normal” son refused to become potty trained at age four years! That boy is now a lifeguard and high school honor student… who knew he would be more difficult to potty train than his disabled big brother). So I try to find information from folks who know what they are talking about, instead of random folks online.

    Really, good luck.

  24. HCNon 09 Sep 2008 at 12:54 am

    I said “I also remember having my fingernails cut very short to prevent scratching so I would not get a bacterial infection, oh and making cotton ball chicks to keep me busy.”

    and forgot to say that was when I had chicken pox, one of the nasty complications of chicken pox is a subsequent bacterial infection… Which was also the year I had a tonsillectomy that bled, and landed me back in the hospital.

    Oh, and my kids all got chicken pox in 1994, the year before the vaccine came out. Even my daughter who was six months old and only breast fed (umm… well, I have stubborn kids who were slow to wean and eat solid food, though only the middle kid drove me nuts with potty training). Not a good time, especially with older son’s speech therapy appointments, plus some therapy with younger son (resolved), and a baby who could not sleep at night due to being miserable. Though it wasn’t as bad as one family in older son’s school, he ended up in the hospital with flesh eating bacterial infection. Yikes!

    Yeah, I’m old (51 in one month). I remember getting sick. I remember folks who became disabled from the diseases. My own kids have had the now vaccine preventable diseases (oh, one of oldest son’s trips to the hospital was due to what may have been a rotavirus infection, he had a seizure due to dehydration — fun times — sarcasm).

    By the way, the ritzy neighborhood near the Children’s Hospital wants to restrict its expansion (they are buying an old post WWII condo complex on the highway side, each condo owner is getting more than market price, not the ritzy neighborhood side). I wrote the city planners and told them that I support the hospital expansion. I happen to live just on the other side of the highway, they are expanding towards my cheaper neighborhood, not the ritzy one. That hospital has been a great resource, and besides: some of my neighbors work there!

  25. [...] Steven Novella wrote: A new study published in PLOS One shows no association between the MMR vaccine and autism or the presence of measles virus in the gut of children with autism and GI symptoms. This is yet more evidence against the claim that the MMR vaccine is responsible for some autism cases…. [...]

  26. [...] between thimerosal vaccines and autism (re: IOM report) CSICOP Article by Dr. Steve Novella (2007) Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism (2008) Listen to this post You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. [...]

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