Autism Risk Not Affected By Measles Vaccine
Many health professionals have been trying to clarify if measles vaccine increases autism risk or not. This is an emotional issue for parents and now it is finally answered: there is absolutely no link between autism and Measles vaccine.
Before 1963, when there was no MMR vaccine developed, there were about 3 or 4 million people contracting measles and about 400 or 500 people dying from it each year. However, in 1999 there were only 100 infection and 2 cases, and this is only thanks to vaccine.
In 1998 a small study by British scientists examined measles vaccine and concluded that MMR RNA exists in gastrointestinal tract of vaccinated children, which leads to GI problems and autism risk. They suggested that the RNA can cause inflammation in bowel, making it more permeable. Permeable bowel itself can let the virus into circulation system and penetrate into nervous system. Once the virus appears in the nervous system, it can lead to developmental problems, particularly autism.
Now researchers conducted a study very similar to the mentioned old study. All techniques were almost the same, with a difference that modern technologies provide with more accuracy and detailed information. Researchers looked at two similar groups of children: the first one (25 children) with autism and GI problems, the second one (13 children) with GI problems only. Both groups received measles vaccine.
"Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Center for Infection and Immunity and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Trinity College Dublin, evaluated bowel tissues from 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls) by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for the presence of measles virus RNA. Samples were analyzed in three laboratories blinded to diagnosis, including one wherein the original findings suggesting a link between measles virus and autism had been reported."
"Our results are inconsistent with a causal role for MMR vaccine as a trigger or exacerbator of either GI difficulties or autism," states Mady Hornig, associate professor of Epidemiology and director of translational research in the Center for Infection and Immunity in the Mailman School, and co-corresponding author of the study. "The work reported here eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that autism with GI complaints is related to MMR vaccine exposure. We found no relationship between the timing of MMR vaccine and the onset of either GI complaints or autism." The above two paragraphs are quoted from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
To examine the possible autism and Measles link researchers checked bowel tissue for measles virus RNA. Both groups reported to have only one child with measles virus in bowel, but the level of infection was just a little bit above the acceptable level.
The conclusion comes from a joint team of researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts General Hospital and Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, who assure that measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is absolutely safe and in no way linked to a possible autism risk.