Autism is a neurological, developmental disorder, which can
inhibit the normal developmental growth of individuals. Symptoms
of autism include impairments in social skills, as well as
communication skills, repetitive behaviors, and poor speech
patterns. Because the severity of the symptoms will vary, some
individuals diagnosed with autism may be able to live on their
own, while others become totally reliant on someone to care
for them. While there have been theories that autism may be
caused by immunizations, there has been no scientific data
found to link the two together.
Research has been conducted to find a connection between autism
and immunizations and research will be continued to discover
what causes this damaging disorder. However, none of the data
collected, from the research conducted so far, has been able
to prove this theory. The National Childhood Encephalopathy
Study was investigated in 1997. The study was to find a connection
between neurological function and the measles vaccine. Researchers
did not find any connection between the two and if anything,
only confirmed that the measles vaccine did not contribute
to any neurological disorders or dysfunction.
Several other studies done over the course of the next nine
years were also conducted to find the link between immunizations
and autism. Again, none of these have shown as strong link
between the two. One of these studies, conducted in 1998 by
Wakefield and colleagues, suggested that the MMR vaccine caused
intestinal abnormalities and developmental regression in children
within a few weeks of receiving the MMR.
However, this study had its problems, including the fact that
only 12 children were used in the study, they did not use any
healthy children for control subjects, and at least 4 out of
the 12 children involved had behavioral problems before they
experienced any symptoms of bowel abnormalities. Due to the
fact that so much was wrong with the research, many of the
researches retracted their opinions of the results and none
of the results gained can be used as supporting evidence.
What does all of this mean? Generally, for any theory to be
proved, scientific data must point one toward the answer. None
of the research conducted in trying to find a link has been
proven. Many studies are going on that are following the theory
that autism is linked to a genetic abnormality.
Recently, a study was conducted on over 30,000 Japanese children,
born in Yokohama between 1988 and 1996, that has really taken
hold as proof that there is no connection between the MMR and
autism. Basically, what this study shows is that even after
the MMR was replaced with single vaccines, the number of children
diagnosed with autism has continued to rise. What this means
is that parents should no longer be worried they are putting
their children in danger when they get the MMR.
The fact is that throughout the years of research, not one
study can prove that there is a link between the triple immunization,
MMR, and autism. The research will continue, however, for the
cause of autism in the hope that we will not just find a cause,
but a cure, as well.
By Rachel Evans. To find out how you can get more information and sign up for a Free Newsletter dedicated to Autism please visit Essential Guide To Autism.