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#1 of 8 Old 12-05-2008, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many provaxers constantly state that the studies that have come out linking vaccines with autism, other ND, allergies, or anything negative really have been "debunked" and are "junk science". Even the ones on peer reviewed medical journals. They will say that the study was flawed in some way, yet they never can poitn to specifics in how this is the case.
I am under the impression that the "landmark" studies that "prove" that autism and other ND's are not caused by the MMR can also have holes poked in them the size of swiss cheese. At least this is what some antivaxers have claimed. Again I would really like specifics with these studies. I want to be able to point to where these studies fell flat when i am talking about them. i know the best way is to get my hands on them and read them for myself word for word, but I really don't have that kind of time!! Just wondering if anybody has any specific info about debunking studies either for or against the dangers of vaccines.
Thanks!

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#2 of 8 Old 12-07-2008, 03:17 PM
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I am a scientist (physicist) so I also wanted to read these articles for myself and make a decision. Here is my take:

The studies that proposed a link between MMR and autism were looking for a link between bowel disorders and autism. They found measles virus in the bowels of a large percent of patients. This study was not controlled - meaning it wasn't randomized, there was no double-blind, placebo control etc. Because it didn't use these stringent scientific guidelines it can not be called conclusive proof of a connection. However, it did indicate that further studies were needed. These studies are by Wakefield et. al. You can read them yourself on google scholar.

This caused an uproar and several "studies" to debunk Wakefield's findings. I use studies in quotes because all of the research has been Epidemiological studies. An Epidemiological study looks a large populations and reviews of previous literature (research) to find any existing causal relationships between two things (MMR vaccination vs. autism diagnosis for example). Epidemiological studies are valuable in public health but can NOT prove or disprove a cause/effect relationship. It is purely a statistical review that can provide indications. When I explain this to people I often point out that an example: There has been found to be a causal relationship between violence on TV and violence amongst children. This does not mean that a particular child who watches a violent movie will go out and do a violent act. It means that given a large population of children increased violence on TV relates to a higher incidence of violent behavior. It is a numbers game.

An example of a "debunk" from these Epidemiological study: the median age where parents identify regressive behavior relating to autsim is similar regardless of if they had an MMR or not. This leads the authors to say that "there is no evidence of a link." Really? The actual numbers are "age-of-exposure to MMR vaccine was significantly lower (mean age 14.38 months) when compared with the remaining autistic population (mean age 17.71 months)" (Quoted from this). They are kind of playing those statistics loose and free don't you think?

So what about actual research? As in laboratory studies of measles and bowel disorders and autism? Laboratory controlled studies of MMR exposure and neurological results? Not so much. I haven't found any disproving Wakefield's original hypothesis in a scientific (as opposed to epidemiological) study and I have found some that repeated the findings of measles in the bowels of autistic persons.

"We" as a society should not be saying "it has been proven there is no link" because that is patently untrue. Until real, controlled, repeated studies are done that provide scientific evidence that autism can not be caused by MMR then the possibility still exists. It seems that with vaccinations (as opposed to other types of drugs) the burden of proof rests on the patients to prove it isn't safe instead of on the vaccine manufacturers to prove that it is safe.

Here is some research that is more scientific (although being funded in a dubious way) that is currently underway:

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publication...m/mmr/sub4.cfm

I hope this helps! Let me know if I can answer anything else!
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#3 of 8 Old 12-07-2008, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much!! That is very helpful.

So just to clarify....a "scientific" study is a double blind, placebo controlled study?? I get what an epidemiological is. So in order to do a "scientific" study about any vaccine, wouldn't you have to do it against an unvaccinated population?? I mean you couldn't do a study looking at kids with autism who had the MMR vs kids with autism that hadn't had the MMR because there would be so many other confounding factors no?? Wouldn't one have to do a study of kids with autism who had had ONLY the MMR shot vs kids who are completely unvaccinated?? I mean that will never happen. If this is the case I can imagine that neither side will EVER be able to provide definitve "Proof" either way.
If I have it totally wrong maybe give me an example of what a true scientific study might look like...not nec for autism and MMR but any problem and any vaccine. I know that the HIB (or maybe its Hep B) vaccine has been linked to an increase in type 1 diabetes. Again thanks so much....this stuff is so confusing for non scientists!!

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#4 of 8 Old 12-07-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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To be "scientific" I think you shouldn't have a slant. Good luck finding such a study.

why are you interested in the autism link? Just quest for knowledge? I have found that even if you put the autism/ allergy (even stem cell) argument aside there is more then enough to base a decision not to vax.

I feel like we know so little about autism that we have the ability to know even less about what causes it. Maybe vaxes cause cancer? What is cancer? What is autism? We really don't know. They are such broad terms you can both support and deny any claims. I'm rambley, (preggo brain): example, Q. Are there horses at the circus? A. Well I went to one and there were, but another had zebras, does that count as a horse? There was another that didn't have any animals at all, does that mean its not really a circus? Same with autism and vax. KWIM?

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#5 of 8 Old 12-07-2008, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kriket View Post
To be "scientific" I think you shouldn't have a slant. Good luck finding such a study.

why are you interested in the autism link? Just quest for knowledge? I have found that even if you put the autism/ allergy (even stem cell) argument aside there is more then enough to base a decision not to vax.

I feel like we know so little about autism that we have the ability to know even less about what causes it. Maybe vaxes cause cancer? What is cancer? What is autism? We really don't know. They are such broad terms you can both support and deny any claims. I'm rambley, (preggo brain): example, Q. Are there horses at the circus? A. Well I went to one and there were, but another had zebras, does that count as a horse? There was another that didn't have any animals at all, does that mean its not really a circus? Same with autism and vax. KWIM?
I totally know what you mean and agree 100%!! I just brought up the autism/mmr link because the "Gods" ( Dr. Profitt etal.) always point to these "landmark" studies as "proof" that there is no link. I would be ineterested in ANY bonafied study (meaning no conflict of interest) proving or disproving that vaccines either do or don't cause MANY of the things that they have been linked to, but I now Ill never find such a study cause it hasn't been done yet (and probably never will sadly)

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#6 of 8 Old 12-07-2008, 09:07 PM
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Exactly! I agree completely. To have a really valid study it would have to compare non-vaxed to vaxed fully and vaxed partially. That would give the big picture. I think the problem there is research takes funding and there is no money in proving a vax is unsafe. Lots of vax research is funded by pharma and the others by CDC/NIH which have a stake in vaccination also.

There are lots of things that are required for a scientific study to be valid. I think wikipedia has a great explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_control

you are right, the human immune system is complex and getting rid of all those "confounding factors" is difficult. My overall problem is that that they aren't even in the lab trying to find out why Wakefield found measles in autistic persons. They are hanging their hat on the epidemiological studies. They are also saying "safe until proven otherwise" which just strikes me the wrong way for something I'm going to give a child.

Here is a good example of a scientific study: http://jcp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/40/12/1509
This was about VIOXX and was done in 2000. If you read the abstract you can get a feel for the stringent control on the study. However, other studies (http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/..._06_cardio.pdf) showed a high level of cardiac side-effects from the drug. This drug was pulled of the market in 2004. It was later shown that several studies had shown the problem long before the drug was released (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...7693d8b98f4de9). Even scientific studies can be skewed or wrong. It is also important who funded the research. Basically the FDA and Merck (which made VIOXX) were in hot water for how much they *knew* before they released the drug. VIOXX caused anywhere from 80,000 to 140,000 heart attacks.

I think the good thing about the VIOXX debacle was at least scientific studies were being done! That meant that the drug was only on the market for 4-5 years. MMR has been licensed since 1963 but no one is researching it expect for these epidemiological studies. I just wish they'd stop arguing and start studying!
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#7 of 8 Old 12-08-2008, 01:17 AM
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To step away from MMR and autism which is kind of a media hot spot - there are plenty of other problems with other vaccines.

Here's one: Kawasaki's Disease and HepB
http://www.springerlink.com/content/f1fx7u0e77mwuupw/
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#8 of 8 Old 12-08-2008, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for posting this stuff and clearing things up for me!

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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