Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Listing of Articles Which Do Not Support the Vaccine Etiology of Autism Theory

A reader requested some time ago that I come with a listing of articles that do not support a vaccine etiology of autism. I propose a list here which is either directly refutes such a connection, or challenges the “epidemic of autism” theory which is usually a core assertion of this theory, or I reference articles that while not directly addressing the issues, do provide some support for the first two categories.

I have divided this listing into categories concerning what the articles focus on. The articles may be causal or descriptive epidemiology, or they may be critical analyses of articles or issues already in play. I have provided full references, but not links to these articles. Some of these articles are far better than others in terms of quality and control. I wish to say that a critical review of these articles is just as important as with any other issue.

(note: I have not uniformed the references between APA and medical text formatting. I do not think this should be a problem for any however).



For Descriptive Epidemiology:

1. Bertrand, J., Mars, A., Boyle, C., Bove, F., Yeargin-Allsop, M., & Decoufle, P. (2001). Prevalence of autism in a United States population: the Brick Township, New Jersey, investigation. Pediatrics, 108, 1155-161.


2. Chakrabarti, S., & Fombonne, E. (2001). Pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285,
3093-3099.

3. Chakrabarti, S., Fombonne, E., (2005). Pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children: confirmation of high prevalence. American Journal of
Psychiatry, 162(6), 1133-1141.

4. Fombonne, E. (2002). Prevalence of childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). Autism 6, 2, 147-155.

5. Fombonne, E. (2003). Epidemiological surveys of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders: an update. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 33, 365-382.

6. Fombonne, E. (2001). Is there an epidemic of autism? Pediatrics.Vol 107 (2), 411-412.

7. Gernsbacher, M.A., Dawson, M, & Goldsmith, H. H. (2005).Three reasons not to believe in an autism epidemic. Current directions in psychological science, 14 (2), 55-58.

8. Gallo C, Volkmar F. Diagnosis of autism. Trends Evidence-Based
Neuropsychiatry 2003;5(1):23– 8.

9. Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., Imai, M., & Nitto, Y. (2005). Cumulative incidence of childhood autism: a total population study of better accuracy and precision. Developmental Medicine And Child Neurology. 47(1), 10-8.

10. Jick H, Beach KJ, Kaye JA. Incidence of autism over time.Epidemiology. (2006). Epidemiology, 17(1), 120-121.

11. Laidler, J. (2005). US Department of Education data on "autism" are not reliable for tracking autism prevalence. Pediatrics, 116 (1), 120-124.

12. Mandall, D. S., Novak, M. M., Zubritsky, C. D. (2005). Factors associated with age of diagnosis among children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics,Vol 116 (6), 1480-6.

13. Spitzer, R., Siegal, B.(1990). The DSM-III R field trial of pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 29, 855–862.

14. Tidmarsh, L., Volkmar, F, R. (2003)Diagnosis and epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 48, 517-525.

15. Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Rice, C., Karapurka, T., Doernberg, N., Boyle, C., Murphy, C. (2003). Prevalence of autism in a US metropolitan area. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 49-89.


For the MMR:

16. Fombonne E. MMR and autistic enterocolitis: a consistent epidemiological failure to find an association. Mol Psychiatry 2003;8:133–4.

17. Honda Shimizu, Y., Rutter, M. (2005). No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, vol 46 (6), 572-579.

18. Horton, R., (2004). A statement by the editors of the Lancet. Lancet, 363, 820-1

19. Kaye, J. A., del Melero-Montes, M., & Jick, H. (2001). Mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine and the incidence of autism recorded by general practitioners: A time trend analysis. BritishMedical Journal, 322, 460–463.

20. Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, and
others. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination
and autism. New Engl J Med 2002;347:1477–82.

21. Madsen KM. Measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and autism. N Engl J Med
2003;348:951–4.

22. Murch, S., Anthony, A., Casson, D., Malik, M., Berelowitz, M., Dhillon, A., Thomson, P., Valentine, A., Davies, S., & Walker-Smith, J. (2004). Retraction of interpretation, 363, 750.

23. Roberts W, Harford M. Immunization and children at risk for autism. Paediatric
Child Health 2002;7:623–32.

24. Spitzer W. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. N Engl J Med
2003;348:951–4.

25. Stoto MA, Cleary SD, Foster VB . Epidemiologic studies of MMR vaccine and
autism. Washington (DC): Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review
Committee; 2001.

26. Taylor B, Miller E, Farrington CP, et al. Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet, 353, 2026-2029.


For Thimerosal:

27. Andrews, N., Miller, E., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Osborne, V., Taylor, B. (2004). Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a retrospective cohort study in the United kingdom does not support a causal association. Pediatrics. 114(3), 584-591.

28.Meadows, M. (2004). IOM report: no link between vaccines and autism. FDA Consumer. 38(5), 38-9.

29. Nelson K, Bauman M. Thimerosal and autism? Pediatrics 2003. 111, 674–679.

30. Parker, S, K., Schwartz, B., Todd, J., Pickering, L, K. (2004). Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: a critical review of published original data. Pediatrics. 114(3), 793-804.

31. Singh, V, K., Hanson, J. (2006). Assessment of metallothionein and antibodies to metallothionein in normal and autistic children having exposure to vaccine-derived thimerosal. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 17, 291–296.

32. Stehr-Green, P., Tull, P., Stellfeld, M., Mortenson, P., Simpson. (2003). Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines lack of consistent evidence for an association. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 25(2), 101-106.


33. Verstraeten T, Davis RL, DeStefano F, et al. Safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines: a two-phased study of computerized health maintenance organization databases. Pediatrics.2003; 112 :1039 –1048

34. Vertraeten, T. (2004). Thimerosal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and GlaxoSmithKline. Pediatrics. 113(2), 932.

37 Comments:

Blogger Fore Sam said...

Hi Jonathan;
I think you should include a reference to the Simpsonwood transcripts so everyone can see that every article denying thimerosal as the cause of the autism epidemic is a sham.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks for the list, Jonathan. I think you're missing some papers in the thimerosal section, though.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Fore Sam,

I would like you to note, that if I included any articles which refute/dispute the research I reference, then I would have violated the point of my post.

That said, I do not accept your premise, that the Simpsonwood transcipts show any research to be a sham.

I challenge you to provide support for your stament from within that document.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yes, Joseph is correct. The thimerisol list should at least include the recent Canadian study by Fombonne.

Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):e139-50.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Joseph,

I probably missed a few in the Thimerosal section for sure. You can list any that I missed here in the comments section if you have the time and/or desire.

However, there are a number of Thimerosal studies that are quite flawed and which I selected not to include i.e. (the Verstraten studies).

9:43 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Jennifer,

The Fombonne study is in there (formerly #6) but in the wrong section.

I will take care of that. Thanks for pointing it out though.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Kev said...

Thanks for putting this all in one place Jon, its bookmarked for easy reference.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

I wouldn't include the Danish studies, because of you-know-who. In addition to Fombonne's there's Stehr-Green et al. (2003), Meadows (2004) (the IOM report), Andrews et al. (2004) out of the UK, and Parker et al. (2004) which was subject of litigation and should contain errata.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Kev,

When I sat down to do this project, it was a side goal to have it be a point of reference both for myself and others. I am glad that you find it useful.

What I really hope is that if people who are new to the issue stumble across this page, they make an effort to read some of those articles and think critically about them.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Joseph,

Cool! I figured that I missed some. Soem of those I have never read before. Once I read them, I am probably going to pop those into the listing.

9:03 AM  
Blogger notmercury said...

Nice collection of articles Jonathan. Good to have these all in one place for easy reference.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous anonimouse said...

I think you should include the Verstraeten study, which has been unfairly criticized. Even a cursory review of the IOM analysis of the study plus the author's rebuttals of the lame SafeMinds Talking Points(tm) illustrate that it was, at the very least, a fair attempt to try to prove or disprove a relationship between TCV exposure and neurological disorders.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi anonimouse,

I decided strongly against including the Danish studies, but I have had a more difficult time with the Verstraeten study.

I originally decided not to include it as I was unconfident in it (for several technical reasons) and because of the realtive quality of the SafeMinds rejoinder.

I am unaware of the authors replies to the SafeMinds rejoinder, but if you can provide a link to such, I will review it, and reconsider that decision.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous HCN said...

I found this as a rejoinder to Safeminds:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/112/5/1039

4:42 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi HCN,

I have found a fair reply from Verstraeten to the issues raised in the SafeMinds rejoinder. I have reconsidered my position and will add the reference for this study and the reference for the reply, so thagt it is there is anyone invokes the Safe Minds comments.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous real researcher said...

Just grand - very balanced - NOT! This diatribe is so lopsided I don't know where to start. How about starting with an open mind?

4:18 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi real researcher,

Thank you for coming to my blog and commenting.

The point of this post was not to achieve balance, the point was to meet a request from a reader who wanted to see listing of articles that do not support the vaccine etiology theory.

This would of course make it very hard for me to write an a balanced article since it was intended to be the opposite of balanced.

Perhaps a better question would be whether or not the articles cites have scientific merit.

I do want to say that like you, I am also a firm believer in an open mind, just hopefully not so open the rain nips in.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee - I'd love to stick around. However, the last time I posted on a group populated primarily by the "neurodiverse", several participants began spreading non-facts about me on different lists. This was detrimental to me personally, my career, my family and my NDD son, who is 8 years old. One of the folks that posts regularly here was behind this. These types of vicious attacks are not isolated unfortunately.

Perhaps you should caution your fellow bloggers that "neurotypical" parents of kids with NDDs are not the enemy. Neither are folks who believe in earnest that vaccines and vaccine additives played a role in our children's maladies.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In continuation, does any of you know what it is like to have your own precious only son figuratively dragged through the mud, poked and teased (in a very public way on the internet) merely because his father believes that vaccines played a role in his neurodevelopmental malady. My son is the most guileless, loving individual you could ever meet. He is 8 years old, non-verbal but gives huge hugs and big kisses. If he does possess a savant characteristic, it is that he has an intuitive sense of what people need emotionally at any given point in time. He brings an incredible sense of peace into most any situation.

It was truly heartbreaking seeing his name used in such a cruel way - All because I stated an opinion on vaccines.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why won't you post my previous comment about my son? The truth hurts, Jonathan - and one of your fellow bloggers did their level best to hurt my reputation and slam my son in the process...

Is this the part of free speech that scares you?

2:17 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hello Anonymous,
“Gee - I'd love to stick around. However, the last time I posted on a group populated primarily by the "neurodiverse", several participants began spreading non-facts about me on different lists.”

I am sorry to hear that. No one deserves to have non-facts spread about them.

“This was detrimental to me personally, my career, my family and my NDD son, who is 8 years old. One of the folks that posts regularly here was behind this. These types of vicious attacks are not isolated unfortunately.”

I am sorry to hear about it.

“Perhaps you should caution your fellow bloggers that "neurotypical" parents of kids with NDDs are not the enemy.”

I see no reason to do so considering many ND bloggers are themselves typically developing parents of autistic children.

“Neither are folks who believe in earnest that vaccines and vaccine additives played a role in our children's maladies.”

I don’t believe any ND blogger calls people who disagree “enemies”.

I don't think this is an issue about enemies vs. allies, but of various groups of people disagreeing over some pretty fundemental points.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH - you haven't followed up with my other comments...

And despite ND's would never call anyone an "enemy" they would see that it would be perfectly fine to disclose details of a parent and their children in a malicious manner?

Wouldn't that be WORSE than refering to someone as an enemy?

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I don’t believe any ND blogger calls people who disagree “enemies”.'

You need to wake up and smell the coffee, Jonathan. What happened to me and my family is real... Oh and in the process, I was called a Nazi, the illuminati, etc., etc.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still ignoring my posts, eh?...

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - and they wouldn't refer to anyone as an enemy but regularly call my friends Mark and David Geier, "Tweedle Geier and Tweedle Geierer"

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan
I started another thread in autismweb... Where'd u go

4:27 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hello Anonymous,

This blog currently uses comment moderation, as I am being hit repeatedly by a spammer. I accept all post unedited except for spam.

I was busy tonight so it took a little while to keep up with your posts.

I am sorry that you and/or your family has been mistreated. I do not agree with name calling or with dragging family into what should be a civil (even if heated) disagreement.

You are welcome to post here.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how does one rectify the fact that many of the blogs you list are forums for abuse of parents, researchers, collusion to commit harm (in one instance a plan was hatched to bring up researchers on phony legal charges), name calling directed at children with autism (whose parents implicated vaccines as a causative agent), etc., etc.

Perhaps you should visit Autism Diva, Neurodiversity and Left Brain/Right Brain and delve through the posts and comments. Do you espouse these tactics?

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you could email me directly and we could continue this exchange. The persecution that goes on is rather alarming and I don't want to post more on a public list for fear of further retribution.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting for my last post to come up... If you are interested in some of the things I've listed on AutismWeb, I'd rather communicate directly via email. If I start a discussion in that forum, the same ole folks will get tipped off, the hijinx will begin and my family will again have an internet target on their backs...

11:12 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hello Anonymous,

“So how does one rectify the fact that many of the blogs you list are forums for abuse of parents, researchers, collusion to commit harm (in one instance a plan was hatched to bring up researchers on phony legal charges), name calling directed at children with autism (whose parents implicated vaccines as a causative agent), etc., etc.”

When I choose to link to someone, I look for the excellence of their arguments. Some people are not always very nice, even if they are correct. That fact neither adds no detracts from my choosing to link to their work. Science based blogs on the whole, tend to be far redder in tooth and claw. I consider it inevitable that such bloggers (me included) will sometimes land on an offensive remark. How they choose to deal with that, is up to them.

“Perhaps you should visit Autism Diva, Neurodiversity and Left Brain/Right Brain and delve through the posts and comments. Do you espouse these tactics?”

Not only do I link to these, I have specifically linked to several of their articles, which I thought were particularly excellent.

The debate values I espouse involve the clear presentation of the critique, which may or may not be constructive. The non-inclusion of ad hominem or personal attacks, the use of irony if appropriate, and the minimal or non-inclusion of sarcasm/flippancy.

I enforce none of those standards, they are simply the ones I try to meet for myself. I extend that policy both to the this blog and to blogs I choose to link to.

I will maintain my links to Autism Diva, Left Brain/Right Brain, and the Neurodiversity blog. Unless given a very good reason not to, you have not provided that.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous passionlessDrone said...

Hi Interverbal -

Lunch time and all, but I think I might peruse some of these studies from time to time. I just looked at one.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/114/3/584 (full text available via .pdf link at left)

It would seem this study involves far lower levels of ethylmercury than what children regularly received in the US. If a study in Europe showed is was OK for pregnant women to have one drink a week, that is no reason to tell American women to have five drinks a week.

What's more, for some strange reason (?), children that were given other vaccinations were removed from the study:

"Children were also excluded when
they received either hepatitis B or influenza vaccination in the first
6 months of life because such children are likely to be an atypical subgroup."

(my emphasis)

One has to wonder if associations would be seen if these persons were included in the study.

What's more, every child in the US was getting HepB vaccination, and a good many were getting influenza. Thus, they would have all been put into this 'atypical subgroup' and excluded from the study results, would they not?

It would seem we can safely disqualify any child in the US who received Hep B as far as this study is concerned. And that is every child in the US!

If you intention was to publish convincing data, you might consider removing this paper from your list.

-pD

11:08 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi PD,

“It would seem this study involves far lower levels of ethylmercury than what children regularly received in the US. If a study in Europe showed is was OK for pregnant women to have one drink a week, that is no reason to tell American women to have five drinks a week.”

That is a fair comparison. However, this post is limited in focus to one nation. The scope was soemwhat broader here.

“What's more, for some strange reason (?), children that were given other vaccinations were removed from the study”

Hep B occurs at a lower rate in the UK is only recomended for those at an increased risk. This is in contrast to the US.

“One has to wonder if associations would be seen if these persons were included in the study.”

Excellent question.

“What's more, every child in the US was getting HepB vaccination, and a good many were getting influenza. Thus, they would have all been put into this 'atypical subgroup' and excluded from the study results, would they not?”

Correct.

“It would seem we can safely disqualify any child in the US who received Hep B as far as this study is concerned. And that is every child in the US!”

Correct.

“If you intention was to publish convincing data, you might consider removing this paper from your list.”

This was not my intent. My intent was to find articles that meet certain standards of scientific rigor which do not support a vaccine etiology hypothesis (based on a readers request).

This was a broad goal as I must deal with the MMR and thimerosal laden vaccines. I was unable to deal with aluminum or interaction effects for the most part.

Some of these articles are nation specific and can not be applied to other countries. However, the readers who visit here are not by any means exclusively american. I have provided resources for them as well.

However as in all citation lists, the reader can not merely quote from the list, they need to hunt down the article and review it for themselves, to make sure it is applicable.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

erratum:

"That is a fair comparison. However, this post is NOT limited in focus to one nation. The scope was soemwhat broader here.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Autism and Vaccines: Parts I & II" cite some of these articles and others as it discusses the controversy. The free audio podcast put out by Midnight in Chicago can be found at www.mic.mypodcast.com

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Richard L said...

I have only had time, so far, to investigate the first of your references (Bertrand, J., Mars, A., Boyle, C., Bove, F., Yeargin-Allsop, M., & Decoufle, P. (2001)), but I a little concerned. I found the full text at http://pediatrics.
aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/
108/5/1155, and as far as I can see it does not provide any clear evidence for the non-existence of an epidemic. Rather, it shows a rate that is (a) much higher than in the past, and (b) at the high end of recent studies elsewhere. The authors then speculate that the increase over previous studies could be due to (among other things) a reporting bias, but they do not examine this speculation at all.

So, overall, I would like to ask: was this paper meant to support the contention that there is "no autism epidemic", or was it general background? And if you do wish to argue that there are papers supporting the contention that there is no epidemic, would it not be a good idea to include a category for those papers.

I guess one of my key criteria, when evaluating people's research claims, is whether the claims are supported by the references listed, and I immediately become concerned when the first reference I look up does not seem to relate to the claims made.

As you know, there are many websites making extreme claims that fail this kind of test; however, there are also many 'skeptic' sites that fail in the same way. So, right now, I would say that I am slightly worried about what I see here.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Well, I managed to overlook this one in epic style. Apologies to Richard, although I am sure he is long gone. However, because this page still gets the occasional links and in the hope that Richard looks back here one day I am going to answer him.

Richard, as stated in my post:

"I propose a list here which is either directly refutes such a connection, or challenges the “epidemic of autism” theory which is usually a core assertion of this theory, or I reference articles that while not directly addressing the issues, do provide some support for the first two categories."

The Bertrand article is a direct epidemiological study that found a similar autism prevalence to other studies that were to be published within the next 5 years. This refutes the idea that there was a dramatically increasing epidemic of autism during this same time span.

The Bertrand paper is not just interesting general background, it is a piece of research when considered with other similar articles that damages the credibility of the "epidemic".

Skepticism and criticism are always welcome on my blog. However, I am quite satisfied that I explained my reasons for the Bertrand article and others similar to it, in my explanation in the post.

Thanks for your comment,

Interverbal

6:58 PM  

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