MMR vaccines and autism
Does the MMR vaccine cause autism? We investigate
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects three out of 10 children. The increased frequency of children being diagnosed with autism is on the rise, causing parents and soon-to-be ones to question the reasons for this upward trend.
The symptoms of autism usually appear when a child is about two to three years old. These symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition and mostly centres around how he interacts and communicates with others.
Perhaps the reason why most parents have a fear of Autism is because there is no known cure for it or ways of prevention. Although intensive therapy sessions can help improve the symptoms of autism, the condition would never go away.
Medical studies have not been able to identify a conclusive cause for autism. Some specialists say that it is due to genetic problems while others say that in-vitro complications or viral infections are at fault. There are also numerous individuals that claim vaccines such as MMR cause autism.
RELATED: Children and autism: a new cause?
Over the years, numerous specialists and parents have raged on the issue of MMR vaccines causing autism.
The connection between MMR (measles mumps rubella) and autism began when some parents noticed a behavioral changed in their children after a MMR vaccine was administered. They claimed that their once energetic and sociable child soon transformed into a loner and became unusually quiet a few days after the MMR vaccine was given. Other parents stated that their talkative child began repeating words over and over or completely stopped speaking.
Based on their observations, some scientists began studies which showed possibility of the vaccine causing autism because it seemed to suggest that the vaccine:
1. may cause damage to the lining in the child’s intestines thus allowing absorption of encephalopathic proteins which causes forgetfulness, confusion and irritability.
2. the ingredient thimerosal found in the vaccine is could be toxic to the body’s central nervous system. Generally, all vaccines contain toxins, preservatives and a small amount of the virus meant for the body to build immunity against.
3. the single administration of the three separate vaccines in one dose is potentially too much for one baby’s immune system to handle.
Even though the studies were inconclusive, some parents have been foregoing the MMR vaccines in fear that their children would be autistic after.
RELATED: Can MMR cause autism?
According to reports, several “courts” in the US and Europe had awarded thousands of dollars to numerous parents whose children had suffered from MMR vaccine related injuries. Critics suggest that the fact that these courts had sided with the prosecution suggests a connection between MMR vaccine and autism.
Unfortunately, all detailed documents regarding these legal case against the MMR vaccine are sealed so there is no way for members of the public to determine the truth surrounding all this drama. Some sources from the US Department of Health and Human Services allege that the complainants’ children never suffered from autism but from encephalopathy – a brain disorder.
Additionally, the doctor who initially publicised that MMR vaccines cause autism, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found guilty of intentionally falsifying his research on this issue to attain fame and financial gain. It seemed that he conducted research on several developmentally challenged kids without approval. But because more individuals believe in the theory that MMR vaccines cause autism, Dr. Wakefield still continues to conduct seminars and talks. He is also a best-selling author and had published books regarding the issue.
An article by Forbes also seems to suggest that the research and ruling is not full proof as Italian courts are “not known for basing their rulings on Science”.
How about you? What is your take on the issue that MMR vaccines cause autism? We’d love to hear your opinion on this. Do you think that the MMR vaccine causes autism?
Please view this video if you want to see Dr. Wakefield talk about MMR vaccines: