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Thoughtful House Comments on MMR Study and Welcomes Affirmation of Previous Measles Findings

Thoughtful_house_2Managing Editor's Note: The following is a statement from the doctors at Thoughtful House.

A study published yesterday in the Public Library of Science One (PLOS1), an on-line journal, failed to find evidence of measles virus in the intestinal tissue of 24 children with autistic regression and gastrointestinal symptoms. The findings contrast with those published in 2002 in which researchers from Ireland and the UK found measles in 75 of 91 biopsies from autistic children with GI inflammation, and in only 5 of 70 samples from non-autistic children . The children with autism in the 2002 study developed gastrointestinal symptoms and autistic regression after the MMR vaccine.

In the study published yesterday, conducted by three independent laboratories, only 5 of the 25 children developed these symptoms after the MMR vaccine and therefore, only these five are comparable to the 2002 study. This new study confirmed that results from the laboratory of Professor John O’Leary (one of the collaborators on the new study, and senior author of the 2002 study) were correct, and identical to the results obtained by the laboratories of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University.

In that this new study affirms the reliability of Professor O’Leary’s laboratory and therefore of his previous findings, a major impact upon the current hearings in vaccine court is likely, wherein the government’s defense relies largely on the claim that Professor O’Leary’s finding of measles in the intestinal biopsy of Michelle Cedillo (a child with severe autism and epilepsy) was unreliable. The historical reliability of the measles assay used in Professor O’Leary’s laboratory is now confirmed.

The authors of the PLOS1 study make the erroneous claim that epidemiological studies have not supported an MMR-autism link, when in fact the CDC’s own study published in 2004 shows a significant association between autism and younger age at the time of MMR vaccination.

We are pleased to see that this new study provides further confirmation that children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems that deserve to be addressed as a priority.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Executive Director of Thoughtful House Center for Children, whose work has focused on intestinal disease, and on the possible role of MMR vaccine in regressive autism in children with GI symptoms, welcomed these new findings. Dr. Wakefield was a co-author of the 2002 paper that, unlike yesterday’s study, examined children in the majority of whom there was a clear temporal link between MMR exposure and regression. Dr. Wakefield comments, “The search for the ‘footprints’ of measles virus in the intestine is merited, based upon the previous findings and the intestinal disease that is commonly found in these children. This new study rules out only one possibility – that the measles virus must remain for the long term in the intestine. We need to consider that the MMR vaccine can cause autism as a hit-and-run injury, but not necessarily leave the measles virus behind.”

While we welcome this study as a piece in the ever-growing body of evidence that illuminates the complexity of autism and the possible factors that cause it, it is clear that yesterday’s study does not establish that the MMR vaccine is not associated with autism. This work examines one small part of a very complex equation, and in fact by affirming Professor O’Leary’s laboratory and assay methods, it inadvertently endorses the validity of his 2002 findings of vaccine-strain measles virus in the gut tissue of a group of children with autism.   

Contact info:
Thoughtful House Center for Children
[email protected]


Jenny Allan

This thread has been 'resurrected' from two years ago, long before I got involved with the Wakefield/MMR/GMC campaigning; but oh how topical this is!! Maybe AoA should have a 'retro' list. This is fascinating!!

I was at the recent GMC verdict demonstration in London, (2010). Yes John. We all behaved impeccably and the 'bobbies' were good natured and friendly, even the ones with guns in their belt holsters!

I was interviewed by two media persons. I say interviewed but in both cases it was more of an argument. They had their 'crib notes', presumably supplied by the 'medical establishment and GMC' and were both obviously under instructions to stick to them 'or else'!!

I told one of these chaps that Wakefield's Lancet findings had now been replicated 'several times'. He immediately told me that the O'Leary research had now been discredited!! I was rather taken aback by this. O'Leary's research had NOT been part of that fateful Lancet article and I had not been referring to the measles DNA research. As far as I know, the O'Leary tissue research was NOT part of the GMC case against Wakefield et al, only the methods used to collect the tissue samples.

My memories of the unfortunate Professor O'Leary concerned him being forced to denigrate his own research on TV. This was the only way that poor man got to keep his job, and I would not have wanted to add to his distress by deliberately bringing this up in a TV interview. I assume the above research, which replicated O'Leary's findings in the small sample of Wakefield children's specimens provided, is the 'research' referred to by my reporter.

The tissue samples provided for this research came from the children being treated at the Royal Free Hospital, including my grandson. His biopsy samples, long ago, 'went missing', apparently in transit. I believe this also happened with some of the other children.

In a recent US litigation court case, the defenders attempted to produce last minute evidence to discredit the O'Leary research. This evidence was based on a cursory visit to O'Leary's laboratories by some representative of a pharmaceutical company. It 'proved' nothing and was not supplied to the litigant's lawyers, before being produced in court.

It should be remembered that Wakefield is not the only 'casualty' of this MMR measles research. The two clinicians, Profs Walker Smith and Murch, and Prof O'Leary are also casualties. I was delighted when the GMC 'exonerated' Simon Murch of all charges. I hope Prof Walker Smith appeals the GMC verdict on him and is also exonerated. These two clinicians were only doing their jobs after all!!

I should also say that my two media interviews were good natured and polite. They were never televised, except for about 5 seconds of my parting comments on one of them!!

Your Furniture Gallery

excellent thought!!!!!!!!! i realty like it.

Joan Campbell

I agree with John Stone when he says the prosecution in the GMC case is just not justified. This journalist is trying to make a name for himself off the back of these good doctors and the misery that the whole subject of Autism and how it has affected our children now older teenagers. What a waste of money time and emotion. I have travelled from Scotland down to London to attend the opening days of the GMC and it was great to see all the supportors demonstrating outside the building. Also this case is ;taking so long when usually it should have taken only a few weeks. There is a massive coverup over here in Britain but the truth will out and shame on the people who ignored us parents who have children who were most definitely vaccine damaged by the dreaded MMR and other un-safe vaccines

John Stone


Let us be clear just how serious this is. Prior to the GMC hearing of the Royal Free doctors - all of whom were GI specialists - the UK National Autistic Society published the following web notice:

"The National Autistic Society is keenly aware of the concerns of parents surrounding suggested links between autism and the MMR vaccine. The charity is concerned that the GMC hearing, and surrounding media coverage, will create further confusion and make it even more difficult for parents to access appropriate medical advice for their children.

"It is particularly important that this case is not allowed to increase the lack of sympathy that some parents of children with autism have encountered from health professionals, particularly on suspected gut and bowel problems. Parents have reported to the NAS that in some cases their concerns have been dismissed as hysteria following previous publicity around the MMR vaccine. It is crucial that health professionals listen to parents' concerns and respect their views as the experts on their individual children.

"There is an urgent need for further, authoritative research into the causes of autism, to improve our understanding of the condition, to respond to parents' concerns and to enable us to ensure that there are appropriate services and support in place to meet people's needs."

The NAS - who are very closely wedded to government - have not been much help through most of this, but for once they spoke out. So, lets be clear, while the three good men have been put on trial for their careers and reputations, the children are being callously denied treatment and their parents in many cases have been visited with Munchausen by Proxy type allegations. Not only have the children been damaged, not only are they officially denied help, but further misery is heaped on anyone who does try to help.

I read every day in my mail of children suffering horribly, while the systems for supporting them have been all but completely disabled by professional harassment.

This is what all this is about.

John Stone


No one could disagree with that, but buried not far below the surface of the Hornig study is the implication that if they had replicated the Uhlmann study they would likely have replicated its results. We either accept that or make a conscientious attempt after all these wasted years to replicate it properly. As it is the study was a poor effort to test Wakefield - deliberately ill-designed - and the headline conclusion is contradicted by the discussion, while the plausibility of Wakefield is further enhanced by the positive results corroborated across three laboratories.

Such anomalies, alas, are not unusual in "vaccine science".


My original point was just that this study does not necessarily validate the MV positive results in the previous one just because the same lab used the same methods. This point in no way addresses the validity of the current study, its sample size, etc. A valid result in one study does not make all previous results from a lab valid. The opposite is also true. One invalid result from a lab does not mean that all previous data from that lab are also invalid.

John Stone


We all know that contamination has been alleged:

but supporters of the Hornig study are in a double-bind: if the study is right, Uhlmann is validated. Moreover, we know that two positive results in Hornig study were validated in all three laboratories, and the authors are not coming clean about their history - did they develop symptoms before or after MMR? Why not tell us in the first place?

Another, important point is that the sample is adjusted to reduce or hide the effects of Wakefield type cases. If you hold a priori that such cases do not exist, of course, then that is over-whelming scientific bias and your opinion is worthless, but if you are going to test the Wakefield hypothesis, then you would have done better to replicate Uhlmann closely rather than select arbitrarily different case types.

As it is, this is the first study to independently test the Wakefield hypothesis even half-heartedly, and the devil is in the detail.

This has been hailed widely as the final nail in the coffin of the Wakefield hypothesis (but not in the UK where the Department of Health and pharma lobby are not anxious to talk about it). So why is it not more satisfactory?

And we have your rhetorical strategy - which is the only one you can play in the circumstances - which is to make light of a gaping contradictions and paradoxes. It is a "tidbit" and you are incredibly glad that I drew it to your attention.

But I thought this was supposed to be science not politics?


"Discrepancies are unlikely to represent differences in experimental technique because similar primer and probe sequences, cycling conditions and instruments were employed in this and earlier reports"

This little tidbit is lovely and all, but doesn't necessarily account for, say, contamination. Two scientists can perform the "exact" same technique with the "exact" same conditions, etc. and still get different results. Especially with techniques as sensitive as PCR. Thanks for bringing your comment to my attention on the other thread!

John Stone


"Please tell me someone else understands that this is totally NOT the case!?!?!"

But actually it was:

"Our results differ with reports noting MV RNA in ileal biopsies of 75% of ASD vs. 6% of control children [10], [41]. Discrepancies are unlikely to represent differences in experimental technique because similar primer and probe sequences, cycling conditions and instruments were employed in this and earlier reports; furthermore, one of the three laboratories participating in this study performed the assays described in earlier reports. Other factors to consider include differences in patient age, sex, origin (Europe vs. North America), GI disease, recency of MMR vaccine administration at time of biopsy, and methods for confirming neuropsychiatric status in cases and controls."


Good day!
It is very informative and has a very good quality in it.
I like it...

Thank you very much for your time.


So things are heating up on this matter, and evidencing the complexity of it (including the question of how long the vaccine-strain measles virus may or may not persist in the damaged guts of ASD children, and if it has different properties from the wild strain). The stage is now set to go deeper into this question, of the link between the MMR or other vaccines with ASD - and, crucially, of the vaccines' possible interactions with each other, including their adjuvants and other ingredients.

For example: Most (all?) live virus vaccines have MSG/glutamic acid in them (it's a stabilizer). Glutamate has a link to the genes that are being recognized as associated with ASD, which link can cause 'miswirings' of glutamate receptors ("glutamate synapse formation is what the genes for autism code for," she says); it also increases histamine response/is an excitotoxin, triggering inflammation in the brain; it also lowers glutathione, which is the agent needed to excrete the heavy metals, like aluminum and mercury; the latter still found in other vaccines, including the (majority of the) flu vax now on the schedule for pregnant women, which, like the Hg from her amalgam fillings & diet, can cross over to the developing foetus, and set these children up for damage postnatally, (a) born ASD susceptible, (b) hit with the Hep B at birth, and (c) under the stress of various vaccines given all at the same time. It all needs a major review, before the CDC manages to sweep the issue under the carpet (and so much for their responsibility as well for the safety of the schedule). In sum: an important piece of this picture is provided by Carol Heinlein, a former food process engineer who knows all about the effects of MSG/hydrolysed gelatin etc., including aspartame (1/2 of which converts to glutamate). Her link:

We've just begun to scratch the surface of this matter. This is no time to let one study cause the autism community to give up on its deep suspicion - from the evidence of parents' senses, and common sense, if nothing else (although there is a lot of evidence now, thanks to the impetus given to research by the Mercury Moms et al) - that vaccines are integrally involved in the picture.

P.S. Glutamate is high in wheat and dairy; keep up the GF/CF diet support to recovery, folks.

P.P.D. I've also come across important info about the dangers of prenatal ultrasound, and its heat on the developing foetal brain. This is also a major factor to consider. As I say: it's complex...


What commitment and perspicacity it must have taken for the authors of this new study to find even 25 subjects with ASD who didn't have the usual GI pathology. It seems so easy to find the children displaying varying degrees of entercolitis and GI abnormalities which smack of viruses in the intestinal mucosa and, more to the point, those who showed a reaction to the MMR-- just swing a wet cat.


"This work examines one small part of a very complex equation"

Excellent point. One only has to read some of the copious Omnibus Hearing transcripts to appreciate how vastly complex the relationships are between autism and vaccine ingredients, not to mention what happens when you administer vaccines in varying combinations.


"In that this new study affirms the reliability of Professor O’Leary’s laboratory and therefore of his previous findings..."

Please tell me someone else understands that this is totally NOT the case!?!?!

John Stone

Just to point out once again that Andrew Wakefield and his former colleagues John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch are on trial before the UK General Medical Council for carrying out medical investigations similar to those in the Hornig study. This is very likely the reason why the study has not been reported in the UK at all, so far.

The prosecution in the GMC case, which is based on allegations by journalist Brian Deer and Member of Parliament, Dr Evan Harris, have been trying to make out that the patients in the controversial Lancet study had no gut pathology, and the investigations were unethical. The Hornig study, at least demonstrates how preposterous this case is, despite the immense cost, time and misery involved.

You can read Martin J Walker's account of the shameful political hearing here:

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