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Fourteenstudies.org: Study Analysis

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"Lack of Association Between Rh Status, Rh Immune Globulin in Pregnancy and Autism"
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Judith H. Miles and T. Nicole Takahashi (May 2007)

Headline:

This study only considers one vaccine (RhoGam) given during pregnancy and its possible relationship with autism. Far too narrow an approach to consider if vaccines cause autism. And, in one of the more blatant conflicts, study is funded by the vaccine's manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.

Actual Question This Study Asked & Answered:

Q: Does the use of RhoGam shots during pregnancy have a correlation with autism?

A: No.

Did the study look at unvaccinated children?

No.

Conflict of Interest (from the study itself):

"This study was supported by a grant from Johnson and Johnson Company and ongoing autism research support from the Leda J. Sears Trust." [Note: Johnson & Johnson manufacturers the Rh Immune Globulin vaccine, the subject of the study]

Ability to Generalize:

None, it doesn’t even consider the vaccination status of the children. And the sample size of 321 children is very small.

Post-Publication Criticism:

n/a

Scoring:

Given a zero because it is not applicable.

Choice Excerpt from the Study:

"Though geneticists anticipate autism will be the first behavioral/psychiatric disorder for which major genes will be identified, fierce debate persists about whether environmental toxins can also cause this childhood disorder."

Reality:

No genes have been found that fit the above description, and more and more mainstream organizations believe an "environmental trigger" is a primary cause of autism.

Guest Critic #1: Safe Minds

A REVIEW OF MILES & TAKAHASHI STUDY AND RELATED LITERATURE ON AUTISM RISK FROM ANTENATAL RHO-D IMMUNE GLOBULIN

Executive Summary

Background

Rho(D) immune globulin routinely given during pregnancy formerly contained mercury from thimerosal, raising concerns over a possible role in autism causation. A May 2007 paper by Miles & Takahashi reported no association. The conclusions contradict other studies on the subject. This review evaluates the Miles & Takahashi research, related documents, and other relevant literature and identifies alternate explanations for the reported observations.

Findings

The review found deficiencies in sample quality, including small and unmatched controls and inadequate methods for determining mercury exposure from RhIg brands. Poor sample recruitment design likely produced under-representation of mothers receiving RhIg, the key exposure variable. Alterations in sample composition during implementation, contravening accepted research standards, were detected, as were factual errors on vaccines, RhIg, and mercury. The lead author has many undisclosed conflicts of interest. These problems may underlie the negative finding on association between RhIg and autism. Additional calculations of the data, not done by Miles & Takahshi, show a 71% higher rate of Rh immune globulin exposure in children with autism relative to unaffected siblings, in contradiction to the original findings but consistent with other studies.

Conclusions

The Miles & Takahashi conclusions are questionable based on research quality issues. Recalculation of the data shows an increased risk of autism from Rh immune globulin. Definitive conclusions await higher quality studies.

For a copy of the 18-page review, click HERE.