Study Finds No Measles Vaccine and Autism Link

Posted on September 4, 2008

A new study has found that there is no link between the measles vaccine and Autism.

Lipkin and colleagues searched for traces of genetic material linked to the virus in intestinal tissue taken from 25 children with autism and gastrointestinal problems. They compared the samples to those from 13 children without autism but with intestinal problems.

In 24 of the group of 25 and in 12 of the 13, there was no evidence of viral persistence, leading researchers to conclude the vaccine did not cause autism or gastrointestinal problems.

During a news briefing yesterday, Lipkin said his research showed the sole benefit of Wakefield's study - it highlighted that children with autism often have disabling gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Researchers now believe such problems afflict 25 percent of children with autism-related conditions.

"We found no relationship between the timing of the MMR vaccine and the onset of either GI complaints or autism," Dr. Mady Hornig, also of Columbia, said.

There was a study in 1998 that raised the question of a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism but this new study found no relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The CDC has a page about the MMR vaccine and the risks involved for those not getting the vaccine. Elizabeth Cohen discussed the findings on CNN. Cohen says that one autism group says the study "puts the issue to bed." However, critics argue the study was poorly done and raises more questions. Cohen also said fewer kids are getting vaccinated for MMR because of concerns about the vaccine.

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