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Vaccine and autism link

  1. Aug 2, 2016 #1
    Is it true the vaccine and autism link is completely refuted and the original doctor who mentioned the link made it up? I avoided any flu shots because didn't want to get autism.. see the link:

    Edit: not valid source

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2016 #2


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    Yes it's true.

    See here.
  4. Aug 4, 2016 #3
    For anyone who stumbles in here wondering the same, there's a very comprehensive interactive map showing the incidence of vaccine-preventable disease since 2008. It can be found at http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/#map

    Now what proportion of these cases are due to parental negligence on behalf of child vaccinations for fear of autism I can't tell you. I can tell you that the majority of reports that are offered as sources for individual cases claim that the majority of those infected were never vaccinated.
  5. Aug 9, 2016 #4
    You've gone from something like 1 in 10K children having autism to 1 in 88 in the USA, so clearly there is an environmental factor at work.

    There are dozens of studies that show a possible link, not just the infamous one.

    For me the jury is still out.
  6. Aug 9, 2016 #5
    Please provide them per our guidelines
  7. Aug 9, 2016 #6


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    To me it is not immediately clear that this is due to an environmental factor. It could also have to do with the increased awareness among healthcare workers and parents. (Or do you regard this awareness as an environmental factor as well?) In any case, I do not know to what extent this has been investigated, but I would be interested in peer-reviewed references.
  8. Aug 9, 2016 #7
    "Having" does not equal "diagnosed" - the Definition today is a much broader set of symptoms. A large portion of the increase we see today is due to what set of symptoms we assign to Autism, ( REF) it used to be very low functioning individuals were considered intellectually deficient ( or colloquially retarded). The number of children that were immediately institutionalized over 50 years ago if they showed any signs of a mental disability is, well, shocking. The initial definition for Autism was only created in 1943.

    Conversely many high functioning individuals could have just been called "odd" - Yahoo and Google have actually lobbied against some ADA related discussions about proper accommodations for what had originally been referred to as Asperger's, because they knew they already had MANY good, functioning employees with what is today considered Autism.

    I do not think we can say that there are no environmental, dietary, or other controllable factors (vs random mutation or genetics) that may be responsible for some increase, but just looking at the count of diagnosed, does not tell the story - and as has been posted above the links to vaccines including the whole initial study / report have been thoroughly discredited.
  9. Aug 9, 2016 #8
    As a biologist, I am steadfast in my support of active vaccination as a key element in the induction of immune memory, thereby reducing the incidence and severity of childhood illness and strengthening the immune system. However, allow me to play devil's advocate in urging that we don't indulge in blanket statements. The enormous genetic variation present in populations results in tens of millions of genetically diverse immune systems. When coupled with the fact that our knowledge of cytokines has grown exponentially, leading to a myriad of regulatory circuits unheard of 20 years ago, it may be the case that, in the presence of slightly altered alleles encoding these peptides, we should expect significant physiological differences among individuals, such as the observed individualized propensity for hypersecretion of IgE (antibodies of the "E class") in response to environmental antigens such as bee venom. It would be overreaching to suggest that there won't be some individuals who suffer adverse effects of various types from immunization, including neuro-developmental ones. Statistically, we might observe that, in general, no strong link exists between vaccination and autism spectrum disorders, but there may well be cases where that blanket statement fails. For better or worse, medical practice is mostly statistical in nature, taking inadequate account of individual variation.
  10. Aug 9, 2016 #9
    Of course there is the possibility of adverse effects from vaccines and these vary in frequency and serious depending on the vaccine involved. Generally for vaccines given routinely the rate is low and serious side effects very rare. Vaccines in fact are one of the most extensively studied group of therapeutics in use and are monitored by research groups across the globe. The original claim was it was thimerosal, a preservative added following a contamination incident, while no link was found in an effort to reassure parents this was removed from virtually all vaccines around 20 years ago, with no impact whatsoever on autism rates. One of the most interesting things is that its only vaccine researchers that continue to investigate this link, again in a forlorn attempt to reassure people. Research groups that study autism specifically dismissed this years ago. They suggest that autism has a strong genetic component and it is events that happen in the womb prior to birth that have the strongest associations.
    Anti-vaccine groups continue to claim that there is some conspiracy and that no one will do a study comparing the vaccinated with the unvaccinated. In actual fact there are a number of such studies none of which suggest there is any increased risk.


    The evidence points to the increase in diagnosis being due to changes in diagnosis and is discussed at;

  11. Aug 9, 2016 #10
    Autism is being diagnosed much aggressively than today than historically, as are other characteristics of children leading to massively more kids on psychoactive drugs to control ADHD. There's now some thought that "hyper-activity" was just a trait of a percentage of the population (mostly boys). Wanting little boys to sit still like little girls is idiocy and we'll probably find that future generations of Bill Gates and Steven Spielbergs are no longer being created since we've drugged that level of creativity out of the society. What is on the rise are childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and whooping cough that were almost eradicated when regular vaccination programs were initiated. Some of these diseases are child killers, and parents today forgot the horror of many of them as they followed this false fright campaign about vaccinations and autism. The problem is that once a person has bought into this BS, it's very difficult to turn around as say, "oh, I guess I was just a gullible dummy." Similar behavior can be seen in the National elections.
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