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article imageNew Definitive Evidence Shows Autism Not Caused by Vaccines

By Carol Forsloff     Feb 10, 2009 in Health
For years some people thought vaccinations caused autism. Now that notion has been discounted significantly by a series of research studies.
One of the authors of the research findings, Dr. Paul A. Offit, is an advisor to Merck and has partnered in a patent and research of the rotavirus vaccine. Still he has made cogent observations about the research results about the lack of connection between vaccinations and autism.
Offit’s review in the February 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases maintains after 20 studies of vaccines that there is strong evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism and that parents need to be reassured by that. Offit believes there should be more education for parents to help them understand that they need not be afraid of their children receiving vaccinations.
The research done by Offit and others examined three types of theoretical links, one involving the actual ingredients, another the effect of the vaccination on particular proteins in the body and finally the comparison of statistics regarding vaccinations of both autistic and normal children. In addition the idea that vaccinations lower the immune system so that autism develops was not supported by the research evidence.
Offit and his colleague Bryan H. King, MD, who is co-chair, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Committee, have both observed that any associations between autism and the vaccines are rare and that studies on autism causes should focus on those areas where leads are more promising than on the relationship between autism and vaccines which has not been scientifically established.
The researchers are concerned about the numbers of children who haven’t been vaccinated because of parental fears that if they did get immunization for their children they might end up with autism. One case of how problematical this can be was described by Offitt. He said three children who hadn’t been vaccinated were diagnosed with meningitis and died of it.. Offitt and King both declared that autism is not triggered by an immune response and hope that research will assess the biological bases of autism.
The Centers for Disease Control maintains a repository of research findings on autism that show the lack of science verifying a positive correlation between vaccination and autism.
A study done in Italy reinforces the Offitt - King findings. Researchers studied two groups of children that had different amounts of thimerosal in cough vaccinations, following up by testing 1,403 of them and finding no differences in measurements that would be attributable to more than chance.
In the meantime doctors hope this new information that vaccinations don’t cause autism will alleviate fears about vaccinations and bring increased compliance from parents to get immunization for their children.
Autism has recently been in the news with the discussion of the possibility that John Travolta's son Jett, who died in an accident recently, had autism. The Travoltas vehemently denied it.
More about Autism, Vaccines, Travolta
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