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Is there a link between autism and the Measles, Mump and Rubella Vaccine?

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Is there a link between autism and the Measles, Mump and Rubella Vaccine? Practitioners continuously have the dilemma of giving vaccinations to children. I will be researching the controversy over the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR). There has been issues surrounding the vaccine that it may be the cause, a contributing factor or not a factor at all of autism. In 1943 Leo Kanner researched 11 children who were previously labelled as 'idiots' or 'schizophrenic'. He noticed they acted in a unique way. They could not relate themselves to people as other children did. He reported this condition as 'autism'. Horton (2004) It has been suggested that the MMR vaccine is the cause of 'variant' autism. This is where the child develops autism and bowel problems post the MMR vaccine. Dr Andrew Wakefield is opposed to the MMR vaccine. He conducted a study involving 12 children, 11 of these children were boys, with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder. These children were taken to a paediatric gastroenterology unit. They had a history of regressing from normal development to loss of language and abdominal pain. They under went gastroenterological, neurological and developmental assessment. ...read more.


In contrast with Wakefield's study was a population-based study illustrating no link between MMR and autism. This study was performed mid 1998 in eight NorthEast London health districts. It included 427 children with 'core' autism and 'atypical' autism. This study showed no evidence of increased regression in children who had been given the vaccination 2-12 months previously. Andrews et.al. (2002). The advantage of using a population-based study is that it allows researchers to access large and various populations. A stratified sample was used as Andrews chose particularly to look at eight North-East London districts, and 427 children who had autism. Researchers are not focusing on individuals, therefore there is not much information on the individual participants. In comparison with Wakefield the study used quantitative data. However unlike Wakefield this study was not subjective, as it did not focus on one particular individual. Andrews study was structured as there was a very detailed framework that codes people in a particular group, i.e. those with autism in NorthEast London. Andrews et.al. Report was referenced to the work of which had been read. Although everything was referenced correctly, the bibliography was not in the order of the author's surnames. ...read more.


Between the dates of June 12-13, 2000 there was a conference held in Oak Brook Illinois relating to the MMR vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). It is understandable that parents and physicians are worried about the causes and treatments of autism. There are many gaps in people's knowledge about what causes autism. The American Academy of Paediatrics held a conference named' New Challenges in Childhood Immunization'. Parents, scientists and practitioners put across information on the MMR vaccine and ASD. They reviewed data on the genetics and the epidemiology of autism and available data on the MMR vaccine, illustrating their method seen a secondary source. Positivists view this as an advantage as the information is already available and it saves time, effort and cost. The results of the study showed that autism could be caused by a variety of factors. Genetic predisposition to autism may involve 10 genes. Experts believe that that abnormal brain development in autism occurs under 30 weeks gestation. Increased reporting of autism has occurred after the introduction of the MMR vaccine in the United States in 1971 and the widespread use of the vaccine for routine immunization of children 12-15months. In Europe epidemiological studies show no association between the two. This debate has caused much public and political attention, practitioners may have believed there is a link between the two due to personal experiences. Neal et. al. ...read more.

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