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Autism Insights, another journal for questionable autism research?

Posted Jan 29 2010 3:52pm

The double standards applied by the autism alternative medicine community never cease to amaze me. Typically they do a game of “six degrees of separation” with any one they disagree with. Do you have ties to anyone who has worked on vaccines? Do you have ties to anyone who knows anyone who might have worked with a governmental agency? Well, if so, anything you say is ignored as biased.

Funny that no one took a good look at the Journal that the recent “confirmation” of Dr. Wakefield’s research was published in. The alt-med community doesn’t question research they like.

Confused? Here’s the back story. A recent article was published Clinical presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal symptoms in a journal called “Autism Insights”. The paper came out the day before the decision from the GMC on Dr. Wakefield. The paper was touted as “Wakefield’s Science Proven Valid Again In New Study That Replicates Findings” in a blog post (guess where?)

Have you ever heard of “Autism Insights“? Neither had I. Don’t feel bad. Unless you read one of the two other articles published in that “journal”, you couldn’t have heard of it.

Yes, two other articles. One is an editorial.

This new article brings the total published in “Autism Insights” to 3.

The first:

Trends in Developmental, Behavioral and Somatic Factors by Diagnostic Sub-group in Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Follow-up Analysis
Authors: Paul Whiteley, Lynda Todd, Kalliopi Dodou and Paul Shattock

Then an editorial:

Autism Etiology: Genes and the Environment
Authors: A.J. Russo

and now

Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Authors: Arthur Krigsman, Marvin Boris, Alan Goldblatt and Carol Stott

Yep, that’s it. The entire production of “Autism Insights” is two papers and one editorial.

So far, every paper has had an author on the journal’s editorial board.

Take a look at the Editorial Board. This paper, timed to come out exactly when Dr. Wakefield needed good press has no fewer than four people from Dr. Wakefield’s own clinic, ThoughtfulHouse.

Bryan Jepson, MD
Director of Medical Services, Medical Center at Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX, USA

Arthur Krigsman, MD
Director of Gastrointestinal Services, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Thoughtful House Cener for Children, Austin, TX, USA

Carol Mary Stott, PhD
Senior Research Associate, Research Department, Thoughtful House, Austin, TX, USA

Andrew Wakefield, MBBS, FRCS, FRCPath
Research Director, THoughtful House Centre for Children, Austin, TX, USA

There are prominent DAN doctors, Richard Deth, and others from the alt-med community on the editorial board as well.

Come on guys. Is this really the standard of science that is acceptable to support Dr. Wakefield?

As an aside, a year or so back I emailed some friends with a speculation that the alt-med community would create their own journal. As far as predictions go, this wasn’t really a longshot. Still, it is interesting to see the prediction come true.

As to the paper itself? I’ll only say a few brief words as it really isn’t worth the time.

1) I recall in the Omnibus hearings that many of the GI “findings” claimed by the petitioners were found to be misinterpretations by the experts who reviewed them

2) No one has ever said that autistic kids are somehow immune from GI complaints, including inflammation.

3) There are multiple details where, even if correct, this research is very dissimilar from that of Dr. Wakefield’s original Lancet paper and later work.

It is too bad that these researchers chose to make clinical findings into what amounts to a political statement of support for Dr. Wakefield. If there is any valuable information gained from these children, I don’t see how this paper respects their contribution.

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