Yesterday the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and the Times online reported about a study on research on an MMR vaccine/autism link being undertaken by Dr. Stephen Walker of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina. However, Dr. Walker’s study is funded by the National Autism Association (NAA), which endorses an MMR vaccine/autism link. The Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and the Times online articles give the impression that Dr. Walker’s research has or is being published when actually, it is only being presented as a poster presentation at the International Meeting For Autism Research (IMFAR).
Further, there are serious questions about the experimental design, quality and integrity of the data collected by Dr. Walker, as well as conflicts of interest among its authors. According to the results of Dr. Walker’s study, 82 children with regressive autism and bowel disease, 70 have so far proved positive for the measles virus. The team will be examining a total of 275 children with regressive autism and bowel disease.
International Meeting For Autism Research (IMFAR), and the media, would do well to be wary of what research they rush to present to the public.