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ANALYSIS OF A MEDICAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY WAKEFIELD - Essay Example

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A group of scientists from various medical departments namely; medicine and histopathology, pediatric gastroenterology, child and adolescents psychiatry, neurology and radiology; performed a medical research that was later retracted. …
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ANALYSIS OF A MEDICAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY WAKEFIELD
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"ANALYSIS OF A MEDICAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY WAKEFIELD"

A J Wakefield was the leader in the medical research known as “ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive development disorder in children”. The research involved consecutively examining a series of children who experienced both chronic enterocolitis and regressive development disorder. The research incorporated 12 children, 11 of them being boys while only one was a girl. Additionally, their ages ranged from 3 to 10 years while their mean age was 6 years (Wakefield et al, 1998: p1). The methodology involved referring the 12 children who had experienced loss of acquired skills, diarrhea, and abdominal pain to a paediatric gastroenterology unit. The children were put through various assessments namely; gastroenterological, developmental, and neurological. Moreover, when the children were under sedation, procedures such as; magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), lumbar puncture, and electroencephalography, ileocolonoscopy and biopsy sampling were done on them. Continuing on, A J Wakefield et al established that, there was an association between gastrointenstinal disease and developmental regression (Wakefield et al, 1998: p1). The research in question was centered on studying children who initially experience normal growth, but later lost their acquired skills such as communication. Consequently, they showed symptoms of gastrointestinal disease such as; diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and food intolerance. The study population that was selected by Wakefield et al for this medical experiment, entailed referrals from the department of pediatric gastroenterology. Moreover, the study population had a history of pervasive developmental disorder, intestinal symptoms and loss acquired skills. The research involved conducting clinical and laboratory investigations, histology; the researchers also acquired ethical approval and consent before commencing the procedures (Wakefield et al, 1998: p2). Clinical investigations incorporated taking histories, neurological and psychiatric assessments, reviewing patients’ developmental records. The clinical investigations also comprised performing ileocolonoscopy while sedating with pethidine and midazolam, but that was after bowel preparation. Biopsy samples of paired frozen and formalin-fixed mucosals were extracted from the terminal ileum, colons, and the rectum. Video and still images were used to record the procedures, which were later compared to images taken during other paediatric colonoscopies conducted previously; a total of seven. The indication that confirmed the procedure was on the right tract, emerged when the physician examined the videos and images, and reported that the terminal ileum had normal appearances. While still under sedation, the clinical investigations were concluded through performing; electroencephalography (EEG) on sensory evoked potentials and brain stem auditory, cerebral magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), and lumbar puncture (Wakefield et al, 1998: p3). The laboratory investigations in the medical research entailed measuring the thyroid function, cerebrospinal-fluid lactate, and serum long-chain fatty acids. The above procedures were aimed at excluding various causes of childhood neurodegenerative disease. Urine samples of 8 of children (randomly selected) were taken and urinary methylmalonic acid measured and later compared to 14 age-matched and sex-matched normal controls. The analysis of methylmalonic-acid zones from cases and controls, involved digitally scanning chromatograms on a computer (Wakefield et al, 1998: p3). Using two-sample t test, the researchers were able to compare the urinary methylmal Read More
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