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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Vaccine/Autism Correlation? II

I posted a while back on the debate over whether childhood immunizations are one of the causes of autism. The theory from the anti-vaccination camp is that the vaccines contain a preservative called thimerosal, which causes neurological damage that, in turn, can cause autism and related disorders. This article does a great job debunking that claim, and makes a great case for the safety of thimerosal in childhood vaccinations.
...four perfectly good studies comparing large populations of kids have showed that thimerosal did not cause the increased reporting of autism. The best evidence comes from Denmark, which stopped putting thimerosal in vaccines in 1992; the rate of autism in kids born afterward continued to increase.
A particularly good piece of evidence is data from the State of California. Apparently, graphs showed a huge spike in the numbers of children receiving state services for autism and related disorders - from 2,778 autistics on the rolls in 1987 to 10,360 in 1998. Originally, the anti-vaccine advocates used this as proof of thimerosal's ill effects on children. But, as the article points out,
this spike in autism diagnoses actually vindicated vaccines. MMR vaccination began in children born in 1970, but there was no increase in autism reports in the state until 1980, which also happened to be the first year the psychiatric definition of autism spectrum disorders changed.
Read the article for more.

hat tip: Enigma4U


Blogger Shifra said...

Must...not...rant...about...parents who don't vaccinate children.....

I do hope this research makes a difference. To those people who think *their* children are more valuable than all the rest.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just happened to notice a new piece on Jewish moms and autism in Lilith magazine. Perhaps not on your regular reading list, have you seen it?

4:06 PM  
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