Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reopening the measles vaccine and autism link discussion


Thank you, eager posters of the Pregnancy, Alternative and complementary health forum for renewing my research into the scary world of autism and vaccines. Tempers and controversies can run hot when discussing this topic, and you don’t have to go farther than our board to find that out.

Nothing fills the paranoid and distrustful parent’s heart with more fear that a pharmaceutical company with a gleaming syringe and a new vaccine, except for maybe the prospect of having a child with autism. Or a devastating contagious disease, caused by getting a vaccine (it happens!) or by avoiding one. Or having child services pick you up for not immunizing your child, or having your child refused admissions to schools or a medical practice for not having all of his or her vaccinations.

As one of my favorite posters maxlou said, “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” And trust me, parents and health professionals are lining up on both sides to wag their fingers at you.

New parents should be handed a tinfoil hat with their baby, to be worn during immunization discussions. So many forces are trying to brainwash us in one direction or another, an extra layer of protective cover couldn’t hurt.

Just to throw some more research/fuel to the fire, major medical institutions are still researching the autism measles connection. There is a theory, substantiated by two small studies, that the measles vaccine mutates in some susceptible children to a gastrointestinal manifestation of the disease.

In other words, some autistic children may have a form of vaccine-induced intestinal measles. This was seemingly substantiated by a new study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Not a fly by night operation.

The head researcher urges people not to leap to the conclusion that this absolutely proves that the measles vaccine causes autism. No, it does not. But it does open the door yet again to a needed dialogue about vaccine safety, and true risks and benefits.

(By the way, this has NOTHING to do with thimeresol, the dangerous - but - not - conclusively - linked - to - autism mercury preservative finally being removed from vaccines).

Case not closed.

1 comment:

eg said...

The story continues to unfold...

No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this October 2006 study from McGill University (not exactly a fly by night operation either) they present detailed, careful laboratory studies that refute the original claims by Wakefield, and the repeat May 2006 study and explain the errors that led to them. Essentially the lab test was not sensitive, and there was no measles virus in the children with autism.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/118/4/1664


Have you read the Danish study-A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism? They looked at half a million children and found no link.

"This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism."
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/347/19/1477

Just some alternative thoughts.