Critiques from David Foster
Why is none of this even discussed?
What I find interesting is that some of the previous research they mention was done by Dr. Eric Courchesne and Dr. Terry L. Jernigan at UCSD, and I was the programmer who wrote the programs which did the volumetric analyses.
Courchesne, E., Courchesne, R., Press G., Hesselink, J., & Jernigan, T. (1988). Hypoplasia of cerebellar vermal lobules VI and VII in autism. N Engl J Med. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3367935
Sorensen, F., Larsen, J., Eide, R., & Schionning, J. (2000). Neuron loss in cerebellar cortex of rats exposed to mercury vapor: a stereological study. Acta Neuropathol. Retrieved from. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10912926
Another general finding of Courchesne's research was that the overall brain and cerebellar volumes in very young autistic children tended to be larger than controls. This difference tended to normalize as the autistic children got older. And just so you know, animal research has replicated this finding of larger head and brain size, and can you guess what caused it? Exposure to mercury.
So what does a finding of no difference between overall cerebellar hemisphere volume between mercury-exposed and control infant primates tell us? Precisely NOTHING. They did not find differences because they weren't looking in the right place.
It is also problematic that representatives of Safe Minds, one of the organizations which helped fund this research, suggest that the findings in this study were "cherry picked". Given the lack of discussion of differences which can easily be seen in their behavioral graphs, and the fact that they do not mention previous significant findings, and even go so far as to include their emphatic findings in the very title of the paper, I think we can add this study to the very long list of bad science trumped as final proof that vaccines do not cause autism.
More on the Purkinje Cells
I assumed that the study protocol would have set forth the data analysis methods from the very beginning, but perhaps thats not the case?