Institutional research misconduct: Call for MMR scare inquiry

The British Medical Journal has published an editorial calling for a Parliamentary investigation realted to Andrew Wakefield's dishonesty:

It is now more than 18 months since the UK's General Medical Council found Andrew Wakefield guilty of dishonesty and other serious professional misconduct; and it is nearly a year since the BMJ concluded that his now retracted Lancet paper linking the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism and bowel disease was an "elaborate fraud." At that time, January 2011, we called on Wakefield's former employer, University College London (UCL), to establish an inquiry into the scandal. Ten months on, no inquiry has been announced.

Our coverage in January showed how Wakefield manufactured the appearance of a link between the vaccine and regressive autism while employed by lawyers trying to build a case against the MMR vaccine, and while negotiating extraordinary commercial schemes that would succeed only if confidence in the vaccine was damaged. ... [and] .... that the conflicts of interest were not confined to Wakefield. They drew in his then employer, the Royal Free hospital and medical school. ...

Now we can report that it is not only Wakefield and UCL's administrators who have a case to answer. This week we publish new information that puts the spotlight on Wakefield's coauthors. Previously unpublished histopathology grading sheets apparently completed by Amar Dhillon, the senior pathologist on the paper, remove any remaining credibility from the claim that the Royal Free doctors had discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease associated with MMR. Along with UCL's failings during and after Wakefield's tenure, this evidence also raises wider concerns about the prevailing culture of Britain's academic institutions....

It gets worse. Here.

More like this

Jake, you have violated the commenting policy here by providing a link to a denialist web site. I've removed the link and this is your only warning. Do not do it again.

So, Jake, you think it's be 1st or don't bother? No value in just spreading the information? Two whole days later!

Thanks, Greg.

By Achrachno (not verified) on 13 Nov 2011 #permalink

Actually, I think Jake was trying to tell us that the problem has been solved, there is no need for any further ethics, criminal, or other investigations, and it's OK to go back to hating children and wanting them to get sick and die again.

Ah. I guess that'd explain the attitude.

By Achrachno (not verified) on 13 Nov 2011 #permalink

Gregg, I don't care about Wakefield. Any denial of a link between the diagnosis of autism and Gastrointestinal distress in children is ludicrous. You "science blog" people are doing nothing but interfering with much needed medical care for hundreds of thousands of suffering children. You are sicker than those Penn State freaks.


Any denial of a link between the diagnosis of autism and Gastrointestinal distress in children is ludicrous.

[citation needed]

Chris, Here's 15 citations for starters. I could send you over 100 if need be. Let me know

Torrente F, Anthony A. Focal-enhanced gastritis in regressive autism with features distinct from Crohnʼs disease and helicobacter Pylori gastritis. Am J Gastroenterol 2004;99:598-605.

Furlano RI, et al. Colonic CD8 and gamma delta T-cell infiltration with epithelial damage in children with autism. J Pediatr. 2001;138:366-72.

Afzal N, et al. Constipation with acquired megarectum in children with autism. Pediatrics.2003;112:939-42.

Balzola F, Barbon V, Repici A, Rizzetto M. Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by the wireless capsule enteroscopy: another piece in the jigsaw of this gut-brain syndrome? Am J Gastro. 2005; 979-981.

Balzola F, et al. Autistic enterocolitis: confirmation of a new inflammatory bowel disease in an Italian cohort of patients. Gastroenterology.2005;128:Suppl.2;A-303.

Balzola F, et al. Beneficial behavioural effects of IBD therapy and gluten/casein-free diet in an Italian cohort of patients with autistic enterocolitis followed over one year. Gastroenterology, 2006:30; suppl. 2 S1364 A-21.

Buie T, et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010;125 Suppl 1:S1-18.

Buie T, Fuchs GJ 3rd, Furuta GT, Kooros K, Levy J, Lewis JD, Wershil BK, Winter H. Recommendations for evaluation and treatment of common gastrointestinal problems in children with ASDs. Pediatrics. 2010;125 Suppl 1:S19-29.

Cade R, et al. Autism and schizophrenia: intestinal disorders. Nutritional Neuroscience 3: 57-72, 2000.

Cade JR, et al. Autism and schizophrenia linked to malfunctioning enzyme for milk protein digestion. Autism, Mar 1999.

Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W. Childhood autism and eosinophilic colitis. Digestion. 2010;81:127-9.

DeFelice ML, et al. Intestinal cytokines in children with pervasive developmental disorders. Am J Gastroenterol 2003;98:1777-82:

D'Eufemia P, et al. Abnormal intestinal permeability in children with autism. Acta Paediatr. 1996;85:1076-9.
Galiatsatos P, et al. Autistic enterocolitis: fact or fiction? Can J Gastroenterol 2009;23:95-98.

Polly, you are wrong. Science is funny this way: It is self correcting. You've only provided the research that supports your view. That is called "cherry picking" .... and it also called lying.

I recommend that you and others have a look at this:

One of the key claims of the "autism biomedical" movement is that something about autism derives from or is exacerbated by the gut; i.e., that there is some sort of link between GI problems, particularly inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, and autism. Although I may not be as versed in the history of this claim as I could be, as far as I can tell, even if this idea didn't originate with Andrew Wakefield, he certainly did a lot to popularize it. Indeed, a common misconception about his misbegotten 1998 Lancet paper that launched the anti-MMR anti-vaccine movement in the U.K. is that it claimed that there was a link between autism. In reality, its claim was that the MMR vaccine was somehow connected with what he considered to be a novel syndrome of bowel disease and autism associated with MMR vaccination that has been referred to as "autistic enterocolitis."

Of course, Wakefield's study showed nothing of the sort and has since been thoroughly discredited, but the idea lives on. Since then, science doesn't support the concept that there is some sort of unique GI syndrome associated with autism ...

Read the rest here.

In that blog post, Orac summarized Buie, T., Campbell, D., Fuchs, G., Furuta, G., Levy, J., VandeWater, J., Whitaker, A., Atkins, D., Bauman, M., Beaudet, A., Carr, E., Gershon, M., Hyman, S., Jirapinyo, P., Jyonouchi, H., Kooros, K., Kushak, R., Levitt, P., Levy, S., Lewis, J., Murray, K., Natowicz, M., Sabra, A., Wershil, B., Weston, S., Zeltzer, L., & Winter, H. (2010) and other work. This is more recent and obviates the sources you've provided.

Orac? Are you kidding me? Here's some more cherry picking;

Genuis SJ, Bouchard TP. Celiac Disease Presenting as Autism. J Child Neurol. 2009

Gonzalez L, Lopez K, Navarro D, Negron L, Flores L, Rodriguez R, Martinez M, Sabra A. Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the digestive mucosa in autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms. Arch Venez Pueric Pediatr 69;1:19-25 (Venezuelan replication)

Horvath K et al. Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder. J Pediatr. 1999;135:559-63. (US replication)

Horvath K, Perman JA. Autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Curr Gastroenterol Rep.2002;4:251-8.

Horvath K, Perman JA. Autistic disorder and gastrointestinal disease. Curr Opin Pediatr.2002;14:583-7.

Kawashima H et al. Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Dig Dis Sci. 2000;45:723-9.

Kushak R, Winter H, Farber N, Buie T. Gastrointestinal symptoms and intestinal disaccharidase activities in children with autism. Abstract of presentation to the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Annual Meeting, October 20-22, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah.

DâEufemia P, Celli M, Finnochiaro R, et al. Abnormal intestinal permeability in children with autism. Acta Pediatrica. 1996;85:1076-1079.

Horvath K, Collins RM, Rabsztyn R et al. Secretin improves intestinal permeability in autistic children. J. Ped. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 2000;S31:31

De Magistris L, Familiari V, Pascotto A, et al. Alterations of the intestinal barrier in patients with autism spectrum disorders and in their first-degree relatives. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010;51:418-24.

Knivsberg AM, Reichelt KL, Hoien T, Nodland M. A randomised, controlled study of dietary intervention in autistic syndromes. Nutr Neurosci. 2002;5:251â61.

Krigsman A, Boris M, Goldblatt A et al. Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at
Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Autism Insights 2010;2:1-11 (US replication)

McGinnis WR. Mercury and autistic gut disease. Environ Health Perspect. 2001;109:A303-4.

Melmed RD, Schneider CK, Fabes RA. Metabolic markers and gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism and related disorders. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2000:31;S31-32.

Nikolov, RN, et al, Gastrointestinal symptoms in a sample of children with pervasive developmental disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2009;39:405-13.

Those look familiar, I see you are got them from the same cherry picked list, Polly. None of those papers independently replicate Wakefield.

Gastrointestinal symptoms are well documented in children with autism. But, what's missing is any causative correlation with an underlying causative agent for autism itself. You have to demonstrate that the gastrointestinal symptoms are not just a consequence of dealing with a group of people who cannot relate the need to use the bathroom and are often fed experimental diets to begin with.

Actually, no one denies children with autism have gastrointestinal issues. But so do other children, and the levels are about the same. And often times is was noted that often the issues were related to behavorial issues.