Sunday, March 05, 2006

A new wrinkle in the controversy on autism and vaccines

The claim behind chelation therapy for autism is that the condition is related to mercury poisoning. Remove the mercury, cure the autism. In a recent post on chelation related deaths I cited a lack of evidence for the claim.

Now in the interest of being fair and balanced I must acknowledge this paper which was just published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Looking at trends in the diagnosis of autism and related disorders before and after thimerosal was removed from vaccines in the U.S. the study purports to show a decline in neurodevelopmental disorders which parallels the withdrawl of thimerosal. Thimerosal (AKA merthiolate) is a mercury containing preservative.

A press release accompanied the publication of this paper, which will probably receive heavy media coverage. A discussion at the Health Fraud List is critical of the study and cites this blog concerning the credibility of the authors.

Although I’m skeptical of this paper I lack expertise in the field and would welcome critical analysis from readers.


Orac said...

It's just more dumpster-diving by the Geiers, using and distorting two databases in ways they weren't intended to be used. I'll probably write about it next week.

In the meantime, just peruse the journal the article is published in, The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. It's a rag. Peruse the back issues and read a few of its articles. (It's free.) Then tell me if you think it's a reputable journal. Heck, it's not even indexed in Medline. Basically, it's an ideologically biased antivaccination and antifluoridation vanity journal.

Clark Bartram said...

I think you will find all of your questions answered there.

Anonymous said...

The Geier paper is due for a full retraction. See my blog for details.