A new study linking the MMR vaccine with autism, led by Arthur Krigsman of New York University School of Medicine, working with Steve Walker, assistant professor at Wake Forest University Medical Centre, North Carolina, was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Montreal in June.
The study involved 275 children all of whom had been diagnosed with autism and had come to Dr Krigsman and Dr Walker seeking help for symptoms of serious digestive problems for which no explanation could be found.
Serious intestinal inflammations were found in some of the autistic children and biopsies of gut tissue were performed on 82 of them. Of these, 70 are said to have shown evidence of the measles virus, which so far has been confirmed in 14 cases by more stringent DNA tests.
Of the handful of results that the researchers have got so far, all the measles viruses are vaccine strain and none are wild measles.This suggests that the study done earlier by Dr Wakefield and published in 1998 may becorrect. That study didn’t draw any conclusions about specifically what it means to find measles virus in the gut, but the implication is it could be coming from the MMR vaccine.
The research has yet to be published in a scientific journal and subjected to peer review. Moreover, there are some questions about the experimental design, quality and integrity of the data collected by Dr. Walker, as well as conflicts of interest among its authors as the study is funded by the National Autism Association (NAA), which endorses an MMR vaccine/autism link.
However, if it is Drs Krigsman and Walker's work is validated it will be the second independent study to back up Dr Wakefield's theories. In 2001 John O'Leary, Professor of Pathology at St James's Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, also replicated his findings.