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From IMFAR to Poland: how a monkey study can totally change

Posted Jul 15 2010 5:18pm

I just blogged about a new paper “proving” once again that vaccines cause autism. This is a paper from Mr. Wakefield’s team. Thanks to a link provided by KWombles of the Countering Age of Autism blog , we can compare the current paper to what the authors claimed two years ago.

Here is the new paper (published in a journal from Poland) Influence of pediatric vaccines on amygdala growth and opioid ligand binding in rhesus macaque infants: A pilot study

by Hewitson L. Lopresti B, Stott C, Mason N.S., Tomko.

Here is the abstract from IMFAR in 2008:

L. Hewitson , Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
B. Lopresti , Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
C. Stott , Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX
J. Tomko , Pittsburgh Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
L. Houser , Pittsburgh Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
E. Klein , Division of Laboratory Animal Resources, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
C. Castro , Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
G. Sackett , Psychology, Washington National Primate Research Center, Seattle, WA
S. Gupta , Medicine, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of California – Irvine, Irvine, CA
D. Atwood , Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
L. Blue , Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
E. R. White , Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
A. Wakefield , Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX

Background: Macaques are commonly used in pre-clinical vaccine safety testing, but the combined childhood vaccine regimen, rather than individual vaccines, has not been studied. Childhood vaccines are a possible causal factor in autism, and abnormal behaviors and anomalous amygdala growth are potentially inter-related features of this condition.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare early infant cognition and behavior with amygdala size and opioid binding in rhesus macaques receiving the recommended childhood vaccines (1994-1999), the majority of which contained the bactericidal preservative ethylmercurithiosalicylic acid (thimerosal).

Methods: Macaques were administered the recommended infant vaccines, adjusted for age and thimerosal dose (exposed; N=13), or saline (unexposed; N=3). Primate development, cognition and social behavior were assessed for both vaccinated and unvaccinated infants using standardized tests developed at the Washington National Primate Research Center. Amygdala growth and binding were measured serially by MRI and by the binding of the non-selective opioid antagonist [11C]diprenorphine, measured by PET, respectively, before (T1) and after (T2) the administration of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR).

Results: Compared with unexposed animals, significant neurodevelopmental deficits were evident for exposed animals in survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets. Differences in behaviors were observed between exposed and unexposed animals and within the exposed group before and after MMR vaccination. Compared with unexposed animals, exposed animals showed attenuation of amygdala growth and differences in the amygdala binding of [11C]diprenorphine. Interaction models identified significant associations between specific aberrant social and non-social behaviors, isotope binding, and vaccine exposure.

Conclusions: This animal model, which examines for the first time, behavioral, functional, and neuromorphometric consequences of the childhood vaccine regimen, mimics certain neurological abnormalities of autism. The findings raise important safety issues while providing a potential model for examining aspects of causation and disease pathogenesis in acquired disorders of behavior and development.

Emphasis added by me.

Why? First, to point out the change in the author list. Of 13 authors on the original abstract, only 4 remain. One can speculate as to why the others were dropped (or pulled their names) from the author list.

A new author was added, N.S. Mason.

How about other changes? Well, 2 years ago they had data on 13 vaccinated monkeys. Now it is only 9. Two years ago they had data on 3 controls. Now it is only 2.

What happened?

OK, while you are working that one out, here’s the big one. Two years ago the vaccinated monkeys “showed attenuation of amygdala growth”

Now, the amygdalas are larger in the vaccinated monkeys. What? Yep. Before they had “attenuated growth” and now they are growing faster than the unvaccinated animals?

If you want to reference this post in your site, use the code below to link to me from your website.

<a href="http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/07/from-imfar-to-poland-how-a-monkey-study-can-totally-change/">From IMFAR to Poland: how a monkey study can totally change</a>

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