What is the role of vaccines in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Some children have developed autism after immunizations, including inoculations for measles, mumps, and rubella. However, several population studies have demonstrated no association between childhood immunization and the development of autism and related conditions. [85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90]

Thompson and colleagues detected no causal association between exposure to vaccines that contain thimerosal and neuropsychological deficits at age 7–10 years. [88] In fact, in early 2010, the Lancet retracted the 1998 article by Wakefield et al that originally linked autism with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination, citing flaws in the study and 2 claims in it that were "proven to be false." [89]

Parents can permit the recommended childhood immunizations without fear of causing autism and related conditions. Adherence to recommended immunization schedules, including immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella, is highly recommended. [90]


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