Study Finds No Link Between Autism and the MMR Vaccine, Even for At-Risk Kids

Study Finds No Link Between Autism and the MMR Vaccine, Even in Genetically At Risk Kids

A number of studies have already shown that there’s no link between the MMR vaccine and autism or the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but a recent study is the first to show that the same is true even in genetically at-risk kids. A huge study found that even in kids who had an older sibling who had ASD, there was no link between getting the MMR vaccine and being diagnosed with the disorder.

According to experts, this should leave no doubt that the vaccine isn’t to blame for increasing diagnoses of ASD.

“Could it be that if all the requisite genetic and other risks are present, MMR can lead to the development of autism?” Dr. Bryan H. King, an autism specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, asked in an editorial published alongside the JAMA study, reported in the Los Angeles Times. “If so, the population in which there might be such a signal would be families already affected by autism.”

It’s unclear whether this will change the tune of the small minority of vocal MMR critics. But it likely will not.

“Eight million studies are not going to convince people,” Dr. James Cherry, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UCLA said to the Los Angeles Times.

For this study, researchers looked at 95,727 children, all of whom had siblings who had ASD. This increases their risk of getting the disorder, which would have magnified the impact of a link between MMR and ASD if there was one. And there was not.

Scientists aren’t sure why there has been an increase in ASD diagnoses, but it’s clear something else is to blame. A study published in the Lancet in 1998 did find a link, but that researcher was found to have falsified research, and that study was later retracted.

While little research has been done on genetically modified organisms and autism, a senior researcher at MIT recently found that glyphosate toxicity, from the herbicide commonly used on GMO crops, could be a cause.

According to the Alliance for Natural Health:

[Stephanie Seneff, PhD] presented slides showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the rising use of Roundup (with its active ingredient glyphosate) on crops and the rising rates of autism; while it doesn’t show a direct correlation it does give researchers plenty to think about, especially considering Seneff’s research into the side effects of autism that mimic glyphosate toxicity and deficiencies.

Seneff contends that as the use of Roundup has skyrocketed as a result of Roundup Ready GMO crops (like soy and corn), so too have instances of ASD. Dr. Seneff notes in her slideshow that “the heaviest use of Roundup, Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller, began in 1990 and continued to rise since. Meanwhile, the number of kids with autism has gone from 1 in 5,000 in 1975 to 1 in 68 today, a puzzling and frustrating stat that shows no signs of slowing down and one that correlates strongly with the rise in glyphosate use.”

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Image of child getting vaccine from Shuttershock