By Kyra Mandas
Another vaccine that has been associated with the diagnosis of autism is the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine (Herbert, 2002). The evidence behind this theory is the increase in both the incidence of autism and the wide spread use of the MMR vaccine beginning in 1979. It has been theorized that that since children are now given an average of 33 vaccines that this over vaccination is making children more vulnerable to chronic disorders such as autism (Herbert, 2002). An early study done in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues provided further evidence for this theory. In his study 8 out of 12 children who received the MMR vaccine showed behavioral disorders that were diagnosed as autism. The children also showed intestinal dysfunction after the immunization that is commonly seen in ASD continuing support for this hypothesis (Herbert, 2002). However, when the use of the MMR vaccine was no longer increasing the rate of ASD continued to rise. Due to this data the MMR vaccine is not a valid cause of autism (Herbert, 2002).
Herbert, J.D., Sharp, I.R., & Gaudiano, B.A. (2002). Separating fact from fiction in the etiology and treatment of autism. The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practices, 1(1), 1-35. Retrieved from http://www.srmph.org/0101/autism.html
MMR-vaccine. Retrieved from http://bryanking.net/mmr-vaccine/