Monday, March 06, 2006

Orac does his homework on controversial paper about autism and vaccines

About the same time I was blogging about chelation deaths and the related topic of chelation as a treatment for autism a paper was published claiming to demonstrate an association between mercury based vaccine preservatives and neurodevelopmental disorders. I decided to make a preemptive strike and expose the paper to the light of day before someone came along and said “See…….”

I was dubious about the paper. Buried in the somewhat obscure Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons the paper seemed unlikely to undergo the trial by fire of critical commentary normally afforded controversial articles published in major journals. Nevertheless it’s already been given heavy promotion in the media as breaking news of a mercury-autism link. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. Not surprisingly, the articles are sensational and largely uncritical. So, I figured it was up to the blogosphere to provide appropriate critical analysis.

Orac at Respectful Insolence did not disappoint. He quickly weighed in with a detailed and insightful analysis which casts doubt on the validity of the paper’s conclusions. He’s done a much better job than I could have, so go and read his rant. He must have burned some midnight oil in preparation of this post. I only hope he didn’t have surgery scheduled the next morning.

No comments: