Vaccine-autism link knocked down again
Another study has shown no link between autism and a common vaccine.
Less than two weeks after anti-vaccine campaigner Dr Sherri Tenpenny cancelled her Australian speaking tour, research has shown one of her central theories to be almost entirely baseless.
A study at Japan’s Nagoya University investigated the relationship between the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) onset, and early exposure to the combined Measles–Mumps–Rubella (MMR) vaccine and the vaccine preservative - thimerosal.
Thimerosal is one of the vaccine ingredients – often referred to as ‘mercury’ despite the compound actually containing ethylmercury – which anti-vaccine proponents say brings more harm than good.
Researchers assessed data from 189 ASD cases and 224 control patients, all vaccinations which occurred in the highly genetically homogenous Japanese population.
They found no significant differences in MMR vaccination and thimerosal dosage between cases and controls at any age.
Furthermore, there were no significant differences found in the odds of ASD developing relative to MMR vaccination and thimerosal dosage.
“No convincing evidence was found in this study that MMR vaccination and increasing thimerosal dose were associated with an increased risk of ASD onset,” the researchers’ conclusion states.
The report is published in the journal Vaccine.
This study is the latest in a string of reports that show the fears of the anti-vaccine community have no grounding in reality.
In fact, one study came to the conclusion that the rubella vaccination in MMR inoculations could actually prevent ASD cases through the prevention of congenital rubella syndrome.
The following is a list of three recent investigations that further disprove fears about vaccines.
Berger, B.E., Navar-Boggan, A.M., and Omer, S.B. (2011). Congenital rubella syndrome and autism spectrum disorder prevented by rubella vaccination - United States, 2001-2010. BMC Public Health 11, 340–344.
Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., and Rutter, M. (2005). No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry 46, 572–579.
Lauritsen, M., Jørgensen, M., Madsen, K., Lemcke, S., Toft, S., Grove, J., Schendel, D., and Thorsen, P. (2010). Validity of childhood autism in the Danish Psychiatric Central Register: findings from a cohort sample born 1990-1999. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 40, 139–148.