Strong New Evidence of MMR Link to Autism; Research Breakthrough, but Crucial Court Case Is Doomed

Daily Mail (London), October 4, 2003 | Go to article overview

Strong New Evidence of MMR Link to Autism; Research Breakthrough, but Crucial Court Case Is Doomed


Byline: BEEZY MARSH

COMPELLING evidence of a link between MMR, autism and bowel disease has emerged in research carried out for a landmark legal battle.

Experts say children suffering autism and gut disorders have the same strain of the measles virus in their bowel, blood and spinal fluid as the one used in the triple jab.

The findings are the closest scientists have come to proving a causal link between the jab, autism and painful gut disorders.

A source said yesterday: 'No measles should have been there in the first place, but for the MMR strain to be found in spinal fluid is unheard of. It is extremely supportive of a causal link between MMR and autism and bowel disorders.' But campaigners claim authorities are trying to prevent the evidence from being made public after legal aid was this week withdrawn from more than 1,000 families suing vaccine manufacturers.

It means their case - seen as a crucial test of whether MMR is safe - is unlikely to go ahead.

Parents who say their children were damaged by MMR have always insisted they suffered a 'regressive' form of autism and had been developing normally until they had the jab.

The measles virus is thought to have damaged the children's guts and passed into the bloodstream and spinal fluid, from where it attacked their brains.

The withdrawal of legal aid funding means it is unlikely the families will be able to afford to continue their court fight against drug firms GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Co and Aventis Pasteur MSD. Legal aid bosses yesterday said they were 'mistaken' to have backed the case, which has received [pounds sterling]15million of taxpayers' money to help fund the research.

Richard Miles, whose 14-year-old autistic son Robert is involved in the case, said last night: 'It seems incredible the scientists can come this far and then the powers that be decide we should not take the case to court. …

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Strong New Evidence of MMR Link to Autism; Research Breakthrough, but Crucial Court Case Is Doomed
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