THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF TALK LINKING VACCINES TO AUTISM, PARTICULARLY THE MEASLES MUMPS-RUBELLA VACCINE. DOES THE MMR VACCINE CAUSE AUTISM?

No. More than a dozen studies have been published showing that autism is not associated with receiving vaccines. We have more than sufficient information to say that vaccines, including MMR, do not cause autism. Autism, now more commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a collection of several disorders that have common areas of abnormality. The main areas are social skills, communication skills and repetitive or obsessive traits. These abnormalities are typically noted between the first and second year of life. The MMR is also typically administered at this time. It is understandable that people noted the events occurring about the same time and concluded that the vaccine may be causing ASD. This belief was boosted by a study published by a British physician who said the MMR, and specifically the measles vaccine, caused autism. This study has been discredited, and the co-authors of the study subsequently published a formal retraction. While we still do not know exactly what does cause autism, it is likely caused by many factors, including genetics, abnormal brain growth, environmental triggers, and prematurity. Further studies to evaluate a link between vaccines and ASD is not beneficial and actually spend precious resources that could be redirected toward research critical to understanding and hopefully preventing ASD.

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