It's all change as MMR paper reveals key differences from published Lancet study

This page is material from the award-winning investigation by Brian Deer for The Sunday Times of London, the UK’s Channel 4 TV network and BMJ, the British Medical Journal, which exposed vaccine research fraudster Andrew Wakefield | Investigation summary

In February 1998, a worldwide vaccine scare was launched by Andrew Wakefield at the Royal Free hospital, London, spearheaded by a paper published in the Lancet medical journal. On this page, that paper is compared with an earlier version of the same text, circulated within the Royal Free in August 1997. Amendments and corrections to research papers are routine, but the table below shows striking variations in key data from the same 12 children, admitted between July 1996 and February 1997, and "controls"

August 1997

February 1998

Average interval reported
between MMR shot and onset of behavioural symptoms
14 days 6.3 days
Range of intervals reported between MMR shot and onset of behavioural symptoms 1 - 56 days 1 - 14 days
No. children whose parents associated onset of child's behavioural symptoms with MMR 9 of 12 8 of 12
Child 4: age of onset of behavioural problems the parent associated with MMR 2.5 years 4.5 years
No. children whose colons
were endoscopically normal
6 of 12 4 of 12
No. children in whom focal
acute colonic inflammation was
found histologically
2 of 12 5 of 12
No. children with "red halo"
around lymphoid follicles
2 of 12 4 of 12
No. children with "patchy
chronic inflammation in the colon" (histology)
8 of 12 11 of 12
Child 8: endoscopic findings
[The only girl in study]
Normal Prominent ileal
lymph nodes
Child 8: histologic findings Normal Acute and chronic
non-specific colitis;
reactive lymphoid
nodular hyperplasia
No. children with histologi-
cally reactive ileal lymphoid hyperplasia (10 biopsied)
10 of 10 7 of 10 (text)
8 of 10 (table)
No. children with urine tested for methylmalonic acid 11 of 12 8 of 12
No. ileo-colonic biopsy series
from matched controls with histologically normal mucosa
10 5
No. controls tested for urinary methylmalonic acid 12 14
No. children who didn't under-
go psychiatric assessment
at the Royal Free
3 of 12 4 of 12
First sentence We present the first 12 children, investigated for a new syndrome comprising chronic enterocolitis and regressive behavioural disorder. We investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder.
Conclusions/interpretation We have identified significant gastrointestinal pathology in association with behavioural regression in a selected group of previously apparently normal children... We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children...
Discussion on selection bias Intestinal and behavioural pathologies may have occurred together by chance, reflecting a selection bias. Intestinal and behavioural pathologies may have occurred together by chance, reflecting a selection bias in a self-referred group.
No. children reported
with constipation
0 0

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