The Autism-Vaccine controversy is not going to die off any times soon.  The pro-vaccine side says there are hundreds of studies debunking any link.  What I find most interesting, is that all those studies are in response to one little observation with 12 children back in the late 90’s.

The controversy has been heightened in recent days due to the scheduled showing of the film Vaxxed: From Cover Up to Catastrophe.


The part that interests me is that whenever the link gets mentioned in major news media outlets, the name Dr. Andrew Wakefield is included.  It’s not just his name, it’s the fact that his study of 12 children gets blamed on Dr. Wakefield starting the autism-vaccine link.  Not only is he blamed, there’s an immediate statement that his study has been tarred and feathered and anyone thinking of using it as credible evidence is just as much of a quack as Wakefield.

Let’s take a look at Dr. Wakefield’s study that turned the world up side down.  The study was only 12 kids.  The kids were sent to Dr. Wakefield, a GI specialist, not to diagnose an MMR link with the autism, but to assess the child’s bowels.  Here is a paraphrased version of it.

We investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder.

12 children (mean age 6 years [range 3–10], 11 boys) were referred to a paediatric gastroenterology unit with a history of normal development followed by loss of acquired skills, including language, together with diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Children underwent gastroenterological, neurological, and developmental assessment and review of developmental records. Ileocolonoscopy and biopsy sampling, magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and lumbar puncture were done under sedation. Barium follow-through radiography was done where possible. Biochemical, haematological, and immunological profiles were examined.

None had neurological abnormalities on clinical examination; MRI scans, EEGs, and cerebrospinal-fluid profiles were normal; and fragile X was negative. Prospective developmental records showed satisfactory achievement of early milestones in all children. The only girl (child number eight) was noted to be a slow developer compared with her older sister. She was subsequently found to have coarctation of the aorta. After surgical repair of the aorta at the age of 14 months, she progressed rapidly, and learnt to talk. Speech was lost later. Child four was kept under review for the first year of life because of wide bridging of the nose. He was discharged from follow-up as developmentally normal at age 1 year. In eight children, the onset of behavioural problems had been linked, either by the parents or by the child’s physician, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. Five had had an early adverse reaction to immunisation (rash, fever, delirium; and, in three cases, convulsions).

Asperger first recorded the link between coeliac disease and behavioural psychoses. (4) Walker-Smith and colleagues (5) detected low concentrations of alpha-1 antitrypsin in children with typical autism, and D’Eufemia and colleagues (6) identified abnormal intestinal permeability, a feature of small intestinal enteropathy, in 43% of a group of autistic children with no gastrointestinal symptoms, but not in matched controls. These studies, together with our own, including evidence of anaemia and IgA deficiency in some children, would support the hypothesis that the consequences of an inflamed or dysfunctional intestine may play a part in behavioural changes in some children.

We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue. If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is a change in incidence (22) or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. (23)

Urinary methylmalonic-acid concentrations were raised in most of the children, a finding indicative of a functional vitamin B12 deficiency. Although vitamin B12 concentrations were normal, serum B12 is not a good measure of functional B12 status. (25) Urinary methylmalonic-acid excretion is increased in disorders such as Crohn’s disease, in which cobalamin excreted in bile is not reabsorbed. A similar problem may have occurred in the children in our study. Vitamin B12 is essential for myelinogenesis in the developing central nervous system, a process that is not complete until around the age of 10 years. B12 deficiency may, therefore, be a contributory factor in the developmental regression. (26)

We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.

The bold font is my emphasis.

And then the world lost it’s sh*t.

Was it because Wakefield and his colleagues held tons of press conferences to announce this?  No, they submitted their finding to The Lancet.  It was then the media that took the findings, morphed it, and sold headlines with titles that the MMR vaccine causes autism.  It’s also the media that whenever Wakefield’s name is mentioned, adds that his study was retracted, and writes a dissertation about how his study was bogus.  How many of them have actually read his study or reported it correctly?

I’ll link it again, so you can read it for yourself.  Here’s the Summary.  Here’s the actual journal article.   They aren’t difficult reads.  It’s pretty clear that Wakefield NEVER said MMR causes vaccine.  All he concluded was that IF there is a causal link, you can expect to see autism rates increase.  Was he wrong?  Did he say that MMR causes autism?

To be sent to a specialist, it usually means you have a difficult presentation or condition.  These weren’t your every day sick kids.  75% of the 12 children were sent to him after either the parents or the child’s pediatrician said that the symptoms started after receiving the MMR shot.  In fact, he’s looking at other underlying factors that may have been exacerbated by the shot.  Could it be inflamed bowels?  Could it be B12 deficiency?  Could there be a genetic component, since 11 of the 12 were boys?  He and his team were looking for other factors that made the MMR shot the tipping point in these children.

Wakefield’s study wasn’t designed to look at links between those with autism and those that don’t have autism and if a vaccine was the culprit.  The team was looking for why these kids had major regression in development and then how to target treatment to get them better.

With that said, both sides, the anti-vaccine and the pro-vaccine are to blame.  The anti-vaccine side, took a misquoted headline to support their decision to not vaccinate.  The pro-vaccine side took a misquoted headline to say the anti-vaccine people are a danger to society.  All we know is that autism has sky rocketed since the late 90’s and measles is only a problem in countries with poor sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition.

For my own benefit, I have decided to look at studies from both sides of the fence that are often used to claim they are right in their stance of of either autism is or is not caused by vaccines.

A mentor of mine says, “Science isn’t about trying to be right, it’s about trying to figure out what is right.” In light of that spirit, many have their mind made up already and then head into the vaccine-autism topic to support their position.


As a father of 3 boys, the potential of a link was never a factor in choosing to not have them vaccinated.  It was more about creating a healthy internal environment to allow them to thrive.  So with that said, I am a bit biased against vaccines.

Another disclaimer is that I did not read all the hard data with the studies I will link to below.  If the full article was available, I read it.  If it was just the summary, I read it.  I did not go in and analyze their numbers and how they came to their conclusion.  I am taking their conclusion on blind faith that they are presenting and interpreting their results in an ethical and unbiased manner.  We know this isn’t going to be the case all the time on either side.  That’s the whole reason for the Vaxxed documentary.  There was unethical reporting and subsequent coverup of data that was not favorable to support the position of an denial of a vaccine-autism link.

I don’t think vaccines by themselves cause autism.  I think autism is a perfect storm of deficiencies and toxicities that often lead to the MMR shot being the tipping point due to over neurological overload.  Just like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and any other chronic illness, while many have the same diagnosis, the path to that diagnosis has many different directions.  That’s why I think many of the following articles don’t disprove a link, just like Wakefield’s didn’t prove (or set out to prove) there is a link between vaccines and autism.

107 articles (studies, reviews, etc.) that show no link between vaccines and autism.

Whenever the media tells a story about Wakefield, they also have to tell the story that the link between vaccines and autism is debunked.  Here’s a list of 107 studies that ‘prove’ there is no link.  These were taken from ‘Your Baby’s Best Shot’ Facebook group.  They are obviously in favor of vaccines and use these 107 studies to prove that vaccines are safe and many will then repost this as evidence, safely assuming they never looked at all 107 of them.  Let’s review them.  You may see this list all over the internet but I highly doubt the people that repost it have actually read them.

To be fair, I will also review 24 studies that do say there is a link.  On the surface, the pro-vaccine side is correct in saying MMR does not cause autism because not every kid that had the MMR shot has autism.  On the surface, the anti-vaccine side is correct in saying MMR does cause autism because there are countless stories of kids, developing normally and regressing quickly in a short time frame post MMR.

The hard part about trying to reproduce and prove or disprove a link is that while the human species is virtually identical genetically, we all have vastly different life experiences that will cause us to express life in different manners.  These life experiences cannot be controlled for in studies.

Albizzati, A., Moré, L., Di Candia, D., Saccani, M., Lenti, C.  Normal concentrations of heavy metals in autistic spectrum disorders.  Minerva Pediatrica.  2012. Feb;64(1):27-31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22350041.  Seventeen autistic patients versus 20 non autistic subjects from neuropsychiatric service.  First, Wakefield never mentioned heavy metals and autism.  This isn’t disproving anything he said.  Secondly, they are comparing autism to non-autistic patients who were under neuropsychiatric services (control). Couldn’t you argue that the control group was in psychiatric serves due to heavy metal toxicity?  They are comparing really bad development to slightly less bad development and saying there’s no link.

Afzal, MA., Ozoemena, LC., O’Hare, A., Kidger, KA., Bentley, ML., Minor, PD. Absence of detectable measles virus genome sequence in blood of autistic children who have had their MMR vaccination during the routine childhood immunization schedule of UK.  Journal Medical Virology.  2006 May;78(5):623-30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16555271. No where in the study did Wakefield say that autism was due to measles.  He hypothesized that an unhealthy intestinal system can contribute to neurological decline.

Ahearn WH. What Every Behavior Analyst Should Know About the “MMR Causes Autism” HypothesisArchive of Behavior Analysis in Practice.  2010.   Spring;3(1):46-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22479671.  This article suggests that unless a child has overt allergies (IgE reaction – RAST test) to a certain food that changing a diet will have no effect on reversing their ‘diagnosis’ or improving their health.  They are ignoring the IgG test for food sensitivities, not just allergies.  Again, nothing about this disproves Wakefield’s study.

Allan, GM., Ivers, N.  The autism-vaccine story: fiction and deception?  Canadian Family Physician.  Oct 2010; 56(10): 1013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2954080/.  All the studies are comparing vaccinated kids to vaccinated kids.  Their underlying notion is that autism is caused by a shot and that every kid with shots should have autism.  In theory, this sounds good but not that scientific.  If you study smokers, not everyone that smokes has lung cancer.  If an intervention is going to be studied to ascertain if it has an increase in effect, you have to study it against those that aren’t getting the intervention.  Vaccine vs. non-vaccine.  Smokers vs. non-smokers, etc.

Andrews, N., Miller, E., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Osborn, V., & Taylor, B. (2004).  Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a retrospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association.  Pediatrics, 114, 584-591.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342825.  This study is in regards to diphtheria-tetanus-whole-cell pertussis (DTP) or diphtheria-tetanus (DT) vaccination.  There’s nothing to do with MMR.  In addition, Wakefield’s study didn’t even mention thimerosal (mercury).  Just because there was no increase in autism with the DTP or DT doesn’t disregard vaccines as a cause.  The UK vaccine schedule also includes other vaccines at the same time as DTP/DT.  I highly doubt they only gave the DTP/DT to the kids and removed the others like pneumoccoal and rotovirus.

Andrews, N., Miller, E., Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Waight, P.  Recall bias, MMR and autism.  Archives of Disease in Childhood.  Dec 2002; 87(6): 493–494. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1755823/pdf/v087p00493.pdf.  This is just survey data.  They asked parents when their kid developed autism.  Was it before all the mass hysteria or was it after the hysteria exploded?  How does this debunk anything?  If anything, you can say there was more diagnosis after all the hysteria as what parents may have thought was just slow development was not being labeled as a spectrum disorder.

Baird, G., Pickles, A., Simonoff, E., Charman, T., Sullivan, P., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., Meldrum, D., Afzal, M., Thomas, B., Jin, L., Brown, D.  Measles vaccination and antibody response in autism spectrum disorders.  Archives of Disease in Childhood.  2008 Oct;93(10):832-7. doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.122937. Epub 2008 Feb 5.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252754.  More comparison of vaccine to vaccine kids.

Berger, BE., Navar-Boggan, AM., Omer, SB.  Congenital rubella syndrome and autism spectrum disorder prevented by rubella vaccination–United States, 2001-2010.   BMC Public Health.  2011 May 19;11:340. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-340. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21592401. Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) is when when a fetus is exposed to Rubella while mom is pregnant.  The classic triad of CRS is Sensorineural deafness (58% of patients), Eye abnormalities—especially retinopathy, cataract, and microphthalmia (43% of patients), and Congenital heart disease—especially pulmonary artery stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus (50% of patients).  Epidemiologic studies indicate that environmental factors rubella and cytomegalovirus account for few cases.  With autism being a very minor effect of rubella, mathmatically extrapolating that a rubella vaccine in mom is preventing an autism diagnosis in future child is pretty far fetched, at least in comparison to the potential link that vaccines cause harm.  I mean, after all, the government has paid out more than $3 BILLION in vaccine injury/death cases.

Black, C., Kaye, JA.  Relation of childhood gastrointestinal disorders to autism:  nested case-control study using data from the UK General Practice Research Database.  British Medical Journal.  2002; 325(7361):419-21.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7361.419.  This study actually looks at what Wakefield called attention to.  Is there a link between GI problems and autism?  Their results report that there is no greater incidence of GI problems in autism versus those non-autistic.  Shouldn’t our next series of questions then ask why do so many kids, whether autistic or not, have GI problems?  Even though there’s not a direct correlation, could these GI problems lead to other health issues long term?  Most illness is a series of events, developing over many years, with a break down of the immune system.  Could our astronomical rise in auto-immune disorders be linked back to GI problems in childhood?

Bower, H.  New research demolishes link between MMR vaccine and autism.  British Medical Journal.  1999.  Jun 19;318(7199):1643.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1116011/. This isn’t a study.  It’s essentially a blog post, like this, that appeared in the British Medical Journal.  It’s essentially a press release.

Chen, W., Landau, S., Sham, P., & Fombonne, E. (2004).  No evidence for links between autism, MMR and measles virus.  Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 543-553.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15259839.  They are looking at autism from birth to 18 months.  It’s rare to diagnose autism this young.  Even in Wakefield’s study, the average age was 6 years old.

Christie, B.  Scottish expert group finds no link between MMR and autism.  British Medical Journal,  2002. May 11;324(7346):1118.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1172158/.  This one is more of a press release again.  Of interesting point, “The group’s chairman, Graham Forbes, said it was not possible to definitely exclude a link between MMR and autism, because “you can’t prove a negative.””  The more these British medical Journal articles are quoted as links for not link, the more I think the people using them as evidence haven’t read them at all.  This article is about whether Scottish policy should use the MMR shot or use individual measles shots.  They favor the MMR for efficiency.  Nothing is about proving or disproving MMR and autism.

Clements, CJ., McIntyre, PB.  When science is not enough – a risk/benefit profile of thimerosal-containing vaccines.   Expert Drug Opinion Safety.  2006. Jan;5(1):17-29.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16370953.  This isn’t a risk/benefit ratio of IF thimerosal causes harm. This is an argument that if all vaccines that contain thimerosal were removed, this would harm the lesser developed countries that don’t have the vaccine storage technology that developed countries do.  Therefore, the ones in most need don’t get the recommended shots and disease spreads even more.  No study, just opinion…just like the title says.  

Dales, L., Hammer, S. J., & Smith, N. J. (2001). Time trends in autism and in MMR immunization coverage in California.   JAMA, 285(9), 1183-1185.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11231748.  This one is on the right track but again, can’t be conclusive of no effect.  Autism went from 1 in 2272 to 1 in 480 from 1980 to 1994.  MMR vaccine rate only increased 14% in that time frame.  They argue, MMR can’t be the reason for this drastic increase in autism.  But I want to know how many of those kids ONLY received the MMR during that time frame.  I would venture to say close to zero.  There are other vaccines, there are other environmental influences, and there are other physical stresses that will affect the nervous system.  Autism is a disorder of vast symptoms of vast severities.  It’s not an event that causes it.  While MMR may not be a sole cause, denying it’s a potential contributor is more unscientific than any of the previous studies listed.

De Los Reyes, EC.  Autism and immunizations: separating fact from fiction.  JAMA Neurology.   2010;67(4):490-492. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.57.http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=799645.  This is just a glorified blog post in a well respected Journal.

DeWilde, S., Carey, IM., Richards, N., Hilton, SR., Cook, DG.  Do children who become autistic consult more often after MMR vaccination?  British Journal of General Practice.  2001 Mar;51(464):226-7.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1313956/.  The proof that vaccines don’t cause autism is based on the fact that there are no substantial increase in consultations with general pediatricians within 6 months of MMR vaccine between autistic kids and non-autistic kids.  Don’t parents with autistic kids tend to go see specialists after their diagnosis, not a GP?

Demicheli, V., Jefferson, T., Rivetti, A., & Price, D. (2005).  Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 4. (a review of 31 studies)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22336803.  They may not have seen an increase in autism but seeing your kid have a seizure is scary enough to have a parent think twice about the vaccine.

We included five randomised controlled trials (RCTs), one controlled clinical trial (CCT), 27 cohort studies, 17 case-control studies, five time-series trials, one case cross-over trial, two ecological studies, six self controlled case series studies involving in all about 14,700,000 children and assessing effectiveness and safety of MMR vaccine. A significant risk of association with febrile seizures and MMR exposure during the two previous weeks (RR 1.10; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.15) was assessed in one large person-time cohort study involving 537,171 children aged between three months and five year of age. Increased risk of febrile seizure has also been observed in children aged between 12 to 23 months (relative incidence (RI) 4.09; 95% CI 3.1 to 5.33) and children aged 12 to 35 months (RI 5.68; 95% CI 2.31 to 13.97) within six to 11 days after exposure to MMR vaccine.

DeStefano, F.  MMR vaccine and autism: a review of the evidence for a causal association.   Molecular Psychiatry.  2002;7 Suppl 2:S51-2.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12142951. Just a review of many of the articles sited above.  Much of it telling us why Wakefield’s study was stupid.  It needed a bigger sample, etc.  We know this, Wakefield knew this.  His work was an observation from a small sample of pretty severe autistic kids.  I’m sure he would have even said it warranted further studies.  But because he was challenging a medical sacred cow, fit hit the shan.

DeStefano, F., Chen, RT.  Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: No epidemiological evidence for a causal association.  The Journal of Pediatrics.  2000 Jan;136(1):125.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10681219. DeStefano must hate Wakefield.  This is the 2nd of 8 studies that are used to debunk the MMR and autism link.  How many shares in the vaccine industry do you think make up his 401k? The link shows nothing.  Actually his name is one that comes up in the Vaxxed documentary for falsifying data.  The study in question is the one linked next.

DeStefano, F., Bhasin, T. K., Thompson, W. W., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., & Boyle, C. (2004).  Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan AtlantaPediatrics, 113(2), 259-266. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14754936.  This one looks at the timing of vaccines.  Vaccination before 36 months was more common among case children (autistic) than control children (non-autistic), especially among children 3 to 5 years of age, likely reflecting immunization requirements for enrollment in early intervention programs.  This could lead to the question, ‘are we overloading our kids too early?’  Thompson is the whistle blower behind the CDC coverup of any autism-vaccine link.

DeStefano F., Price CS., Weintraub, ES.  Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism.   Journal of Pediatrics.  2013 Aug;163(2):561-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Mar 30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23545349.  This has good intentions but stops at age 2.  Most kids are diagnosed with autism well after age 2.

DeStefano F., Thompson, WW.  MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2004 Feb;3(1):19-22.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14761240. This is basically a press release.

DeStefano F., Thompson, WW.  MMR vaccination and autism: is there a link?  Expert Opinion on Drug Safety.  2002 Jul;1(2):115-20.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12904145. Another press release blaming autism on genetics or fetal development problem.  But if there is a genetic defect or fetal development problem, couldn’t that child have a harder time handling the immunological onslaught of the CDCs vaccine schedule?

DeStefano, F.  Chen, RT.  Negative association between MMR and autism.  Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):1987-8.  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(99)00160-9/fulltext.  Another ‘press release’ in a journal.

DeStefano, F., Chen, RT.  Autism and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination:  controversy laid to rest?  CNS Drugs.  2001. 2001;15(11):831-7.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11700148. One thing we agree on is that he acknowledges that there is an increase in autism in the same time period as an increase in vaccinations.  But because he believes that autism is genetic or developed in utero, then a vaccine that is received after birth couldn’t be the cause.  If something is truly genetic, it should be evident at birth, like Down’s Syndrome.  In Wakefield’s study, the kids were reported to be developing normally, except one, and then an event happened.  In light of Wakefield’s study, there can be some plausibility to something genetic, like MTHFR, that would inhibit the body’s ability to use folic acid. But genetic SNPs like MTHFR can have an alteration of expression based on lifestyle.

D’Souza J., Todd T.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism or inflammatory bowel disease: the controversy should end.  Journal of Pedatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.   2003 Jul;8(3):187-99. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-8.3.187.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469143/. More review of articles.

D’Souza, Y., Fombonne, E., Ward, BJ.  No evidence of persisting measles virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics.  2006 Oct;118(4):1664-75.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17015560.  They are comparing the presence of measles genetic material in those with autism versus those without autism.  No one is saying measles causes autism.  If that were the case, then we would have a massive Baby Boomer population with autism, since most got wild measles.  I think it’s safe to say measles doesn’t cause autism.

Doja, A., & Roberts, W. (2006).  Immunizations and autism: A review of the literature.  The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 33(4), 341-346.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17168158.  Another literature review.  Nothing new.

Elliman, D., Bedford, H.   MMR: where are we now?  Archives of Disease in Childhood.   2007 Dec;92(12):1055-7. Epub 2007 Jul 11.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2066086/.  This is an interesting article that tracks the MMR vaccine rates after the time of the original Wakefield study release.  Coverage of MMR vaccine has improved gradually in England from a low of 79% in 200335 and is now 85%,36 with uptake in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland even higher.36 However, there is a wide range in particular between London districts. For 2005/6, the average uptake of MMR in London at 2 years old was 72%, with a range of 52–91%.37 The decline in uptake of MMR since 1998 was greater in more affluent areas38,39 and lower in areas with less highly educated residents.40 

2006 showed the most measles cases in England.  There was unfortunately one death in a 13 year old who was reported to be on immune suppressing treatment.

Farrington, C., Miller, E., & Taylor, B. (2001).  MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association.  Vaccine, 19(27), 3632-3635.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11395196.  This one doesn’t stand a chance as it’s in the journal Vaccine.  This is just another interpretation from previously reported data.

Fitzpatrick, M.  The end of the road for the campaign against MMR.  British Journal of General Practice.  2007 Aug;57(541):679.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1768877.  More of a press release tracking the court proceedings happening around the Wakefield findings.

Fombonne, E., & Chakrabarti, S. (2001).  No evidence for a new variant of measles-mumps-rubella–induced autism.  Pediatrics, 108(4), e58-e58.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11581466.  This one looked at parental concern regarding autism pre- MMR shot versus post-MMR shot.  In either instance, the kid got the shot.

Fombonne, E., Zakarian, R., Bennett, A., Meng, L., & McLean-Heywood, D. (2006). Pervasive developmental disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and links with immunizations.  Pediatrics 118(1) e139-e150; doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2993.http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/1/e139.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination coverage averaged 93% during the study interval with a statistically significant decreasing trend from 96.1% in the older birth cohorts (1988–89) to ∼92.4% in younger birth cohorts (1996–1998). Thus, pervasive developmental disorder rates significantly increased when measles-mumps-rubella vaccination uptake rates significantly decreased.  It’s interesting to see that while MMR decreased, pervasive developmental disorders increased.  Again, this should open the dialogue to look at total impact of vaccine load, not just single vaccines, since these analysis aren’t studying kids that only had the MMR.

García-Fernández, L., Hernández, AV., Suárez Moreno, V., Fiestas, F.  Addressing the controversy regarding the association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.  Revista Peruana de Medicine Experimental Salud Publica. 2013 Apr;30(2):268-74.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949514.  You’re on your own on this one.  I can’t speak or read Spanish.  Maybe all the people trying to debunk the link are bilingual and therefore can freely quote this study as evidence.  I highly doubt it.  They just search for articles that include autism, MMR, and/or thimerosal.

Gentile, I., Bravaccio, C., Bonavolta, R., Zappulo, E., Scarica, S., Riccio, MP., Settimi, A., Portella, G., Pascotta, A., Borgia, G.  Response to measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in children with autism spectrum disordersIn Vivo 2013 May-Jun;27(3):377-82.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23606694.  Another looking at the presence of measles antibodies and autism.  No one is saying that measles, mumps, or rubella cause autism.  Actually, if there was a link that measles, mumps, or rubella leads to autism, I bet the vaccine rate would increase.  As a parent, measles, mumps, and rubella are short term problems.  Autism is potentially a life time of continued support.

Glasper, EA.  New evidence reaffirms the safety of the MMR vaccine.  British Journal of Nursing. 2002 Jun 27-Jul 10;11(12):794.  http://www.internurse.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/library/article.cgi?uid=10298;article=BJN_11_12_794_0.  This link does not work and googling the article just brings up other blog posts referencing it.  For the first time in my life, Google only brings up 2 pages for this reference.  None are the article itself.

Halsey, NA., Hyman, SL.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder: report from the New Challenges in Childhood Immunizations Conference convened in Oak Brook, Illinois.   June 12-13, 2000.   Pediatrics.  2001 May;107(5):E84.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11331734.  This is review of a pediatrics conference that just spouts the repeated bromide that vaccines don’t cause autism.

Hayney MS.  Vaccine Safety:  no link between thimerosal and autismJournal of American Pharmacists Association.  2003. 2004 Nov-Dec;44(6):725-6.http://japha.org/article.aspx?articleid=1039011.  This seems to be another bogus ‘study’ with no data on the article except a bunch of blogs stating it in their references for the safety of vaccines.

Hertz-Picciotto, I., Green, P., Delwiche, L., Hansen, R., Walker, C., & Pessah, I. (2010).  Blood mercury concentrations in CHARGE Study children with and without autism.Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(1), 161-166. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900736http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20056569. They are trying to decipher what has the most mercury impact on your child.  They say fish consumption has the most impact, so when you remove the fish consumption, the amount of mercury present in autism versus non-autism is essentially the same.  The kids with dental amalgams had the highest exposure to mercury.  By controlling for fish consumption, they are saying that the mercury content of vaccines are safe.  Take home message.  If your kid has amalgam fillings, don’t let him chew gum or grind his teeth.

Hensley, E. Briars, L.  Closer look at autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccineJournal of American Pharmacist’s Association.  2003.  2010 Nov-Dec;50(6):736-41. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2010.10004.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21071320.  A review of articles to ‘educate’ pharmacists that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Heron, J., Golding, J., ALSPAC Study Team.  Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a prospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association.  Pediatrics.  2004 Sep;114(3):577-83.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342824.  This one hypothesized that exposure to mercury does in deed have effects on child cognitive development.  Their actual interpretation of the data suggests that thimerosal is good for kids.  I’m going to hold out on giving my kids extra mercury in their breakfast.

Heron, J., Golding, J., ALSPAC Study Team.  Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a prospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association.  Pediatrics.  2004 Sep;114(3):577-83.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342824.  A press release about the US taking out mercury in vaccines.

Hiroshi, T., Suzumura, S., Shirakizawa, F., Wada, N., Tanaka-Taya, K., Arai, S., Okabe, N., Ichikawa, H., Sato, T.  An epidemiological study on Japanese Autism concerning Routine Childhood Immunization History.  Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases.  56, 114-117, 2003. http://www0.nih.go.jp/JJID/56/114.pdf.  More analysis that thinks autism is already present at birth but doesn’t get diagnosed right away because it’s not evident until there are delays in communication.  Maybe it’s not MMR.  Maybe Hepatitis B is a bigger contributing factor since it’s injected right at birth.  By the time a child gets to MMR shots, there have already been a number of other shots.

Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., & Rutter, M. (2005).  No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.  46(6), doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425.x.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15877763.  I actually like this study.  A city in Japan actually stopped MMR vaccination in 1993.  The crappy thing is that despite the removal of MMR, autism rates rose.  This is why autism is not an event like getting hit by a car.  It’s a perfect storm of insults.  The problem is that when researches can ‘prove’ than event doesn’t happen, they don’t have incentive to dig deeper to look at the other factors.  Maybe birth trauma, maybe other vaccines, maybe GMOs, maybe maternal stress load during pregnancy, maybe MTHFR.  Or maybe it’s an accumulation of everything.

Hornig, M., Briese, T., Bule, T., Bauman, M.L., Lauwers, G., Siemetzki, U., Hummel, K., Rota, PA., Bellini, WJ., O’Leary, JJ., Sheils, O., Alden, E., Pickering, L., Lipkin, W.I.  Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study.  2008.  PLoS One, 3(9), e3140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18769550.  This study is saying that Wakefield’s cannot be reproducible and therefore it is invalid.  Again, the end result diagnosis does not always have the same underlying reasons or characteristics.  Wakefield never said that all kids with autism had the presence of measles RNA.  It was just an observation in the 12 kids that he assessed with conclusions that further research was needed.

Hurley, A., Tadrous, M., Miller, ES.  Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism: a review of recent epidemiological studies.  Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  2010 Jul-Sep; 15(3): 173-181.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018252/.

A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal contains approximately 25 mcg of mercury per dose.2 On the basis of the available childhood vaccine formulations at the time, Ball et al. calculated the maximum potential amount of thimerosal that children may have received during the first 6 months of life, also accounting for the influenza vaccine that may have been given at 6 months of age.10 It was calculated that a child potentially received approximately 200 mcg of ethylmercury from vaccines at the time, a value that exceeded the EPA’s maximal allowable amount of orally ingested methylmercury.10

They have acknowledged that kids were being exposed to a lot of neurotoxins before 6 months.  As a result, mercury was removed from many of the vaccines.  But because the body clears ethylmercury faster than methylmercury, it’s safe and can’t be a source of autism.  In other words, they know it’s not good, has potential neurological developmental effects, removed it, but because it goes against vaccines, it is automatically deemed safe.

Hviid A., Stellfeld, M., Wohlfahrt, J., Melbye, M.   Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism – No causal relationship found.  JAMA. 2003 Oct 1;290(13):1763-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14519711.  They didn’t find much difference in autism rates versus kids that had mercury containing vaccines and those that had vaccines without mercury.  Are we all missing the big elephant in the room?  2 groups, both with autism at the same rate, both vaccinated at the same rate, just a difference in ingredients.

Maybe, just maybe, could autism have more to do with irritating the bejeezus out of a child’s immune system over and over again?  This study is the equivalent of 2 groups snorting cocaine.  The death rate was the same in both groups.  The only difference is that one group drank soda while snorting cocaine and the other had no soda.  As a result, they conclude that there is no causal relationship in deaths associated with drinking soda while snorting cocaine.

[bctt tweet=”There is no causal relationship in deaths associated with drinking soda while snorting cocaine. #AutismVaccineResearch”]

Institute  of Medicine (US) Immunization Safety Review Committee.  Immunization Safety Review:  Vaccines and Autisms.  Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20669467.  The Committee says they are safe and don’t cause autism, so funding should go to research areas that may cause autism.  Except so far the only vaccines that have been questioned are MMR and mercury content of DPT.  This is saying all cars are safe just because the crash committee only studied Volvo and Honda.

Iqbal, S., Barile, JP., Thompson, WW., DeStefano, F.  Number of antigens in early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7–10years. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.  2013 Dec;22(12):1263-70. doi: 10.1002/pds.3482.  Epub 2013 Jul 12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23847024.  This one looks at the onslaught of the immune system load of kids and concludes no difference in autism expression.  The problem is that they are comparing a grease fire to another grease fire.  We can design our own study like this where we punch people in the face.  One group gets 2 punches in the face, one group gets 6 punches, and one group gets 9 punches. At the end of our study, there is no statistical difference in the number of black eyes.  We did not find any adverse associations between punches received to the face and development of black eyes.

Jefferson, T., Price, D., Demicheli, V., Bianco, E., European Research Program for Improved Safety Surveillance (EUSAFEVAC) Project.  Unintended events following immunization with MMR: a systematic review.  Vaccine.  2003 Sep 8;21(25-26):3954-60.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12922131.  The conclusion is that there are adverse event following MMR vaccine, it’s just not autism.

Jick, H., Kaye, JA.  Epidemiology and possible causes of autism.  Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1524-30.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14695031. This one basically says ‘we have just diagnosed a LOT more kids with autism that in the past would have bene labeled with something else.’  In other words, the Holocaust didn’t happen.

Kaye, J. A., del Mar Melero-Montes, M., & Jick, H.  Mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine and the incidence of autism recorded by general practitioners: a time trend analysis.  2001.  British Medical Journal, 322(7284), 460-463.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071423/.  This one discusses that between 1988 to 1993, MMR vaccine coverage was 95%.  In those same years, autism diagnosis increased 7 fold.  Conclusion…it can’t be the MMR shot.

Klein, K. C., & Diehl, E. B.  Relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.   2004.  Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 38(7-8), 1297-1300. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15173555.  This is no different that what I’m doing here.  It’s a review of the literature.  They did 10 studies.  I am doing 131.  I get called a quack blog. They are scientific because it was published on PubMed.

Kuwaik, GA., Roberts, W., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Smith, IM., Szatmari, P., Modi, BM., Tanel, N., Brian, J.  Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.  Autism.  2014 Feb;18(2):148-55. doi: 10.1177/1362361312459111. Epub 2012 Oct 8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2304521.  This one looks at what parents do with their younger kids after the older sibling has been diagnosed with autism.

The rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis did not differ between immunized and non-immunized younger sib groups, although small sample size limits interpretability of this result.

To be considered ‘non-immunized,’ it doesn’t mean they refused all the shots.  It just means 1 shot was delayed.  If a kid is supposed to get 30 shots to fully immunized and there was one kid that had 29 shots at the time of the study enrollment, they were considered non-immunized.  It’s an interesting study but I would be curious to see the autism diagnosis rates in the truly non-immunized compared to the ones that had any shots.

Lazoff, T., Zhong, L., Piperni, T., Fombonne, E.  Prevalence of pervasive developmental disorders among children at the English Montreal School Board.  Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.  2010 Nov;55(11):715-20.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2107069.  Another looking at the upward trends of the removal of mercury and the rates of autism.

Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Andrews, N., Miller, E., Stowe, J., & Taylor, B. (2003).  Prevalence of autism and parentally reported triggers in a North-east London population.  Archives of Disease in Childhood, 88(8), 666-670.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12876158.  More Holocaust deniers saying it’s just an increase in diagnosis and awareness.

Madsen, K.K., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., Thorsen, P., Olsen, J., Melbye, M.  A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism.  2002.  The New England Journal of Medicine, 347(19), 1477-82. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12421889.

Unvaccinated just means they didn’t get the MMR.  They unvaccinated have received all the other recommended shots.

Madsen KM., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., Thorsen, P., Olsen, J. Melbye, M.  MMR vaccination and autism–a population-based follow-up study.  Ugeskr Laeger.  2002.  Dec 2;164(49):5741-4.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12523209.  The same exact study with the same exact data from the previous one.  Get ready for 2 more from Madsen.  He loves Denmark and hates Wakefield.

Madsen, K.M., Lauritsen, M.B., Pedersen, C.B., Thorsen, P., Plesner, A.M., Andersen, P.H. & Mortensen, P.B.  Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism:  negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data.  2003.  Pediatrics, 112, 604-606. doi: 10.1542/peds.112.3.204 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12949291.  Another conclusion that mercury does not cause autism.

Madsen, KM.  Vestergaard, M.   MMR and Autism:  what is the evidence for a causal association?  Drug Safety.  2004;27(12):831-40.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15366972.  It’s said that correlation is not causation.  Causation is a direct event.  You can say there’s no causation between smoking and lung cancer but everyone has jumped on the smoking causes cancer band wagon…except for marijuana.   For some reason marijuana gets defended as the cure all as heavily as vaccines saving the world from the manufacturers.

Makela, A., Nuorti, J., & Peltola, H. (2002).  Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.  Pediatrics, 110(5), 957-963.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12415036.  This looked at MMR in the early 1980’s.  Things like brain swelling, meningitis, and autism were noted in children after MMR, it was just that after 3 months they don’t consider causation.  Even if there’s no causation, could we say there’s correlation?  These weren’t non-vaccinated kids.

Marin, M., Broder, KR., Temte, JL., Snider, DE., Seward, JF., (CDC).  Use of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  MMWR Recommendations and Reports.  2010 May 7;59(RR-3):1-12.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20448530.

In February 2008, on the basis of preliminary data from two studies conducted post-licensure that suggested an increased risk for febrile seizures 5-12 days after vaccination among children aged 12-23 months who had received the first dose of MMRV vaccine compared with children the same age who had received the first dose of MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine administered as separate injections at the same visit.

I’m thinking this is just another study that came up with the terms MMR but was not actually reviewed as something that would support a ‘MMR does not cause autism’ stance.

Marwick, C.  US Report finds no link between MMR and autism.  British Medical Journal.   May 5, 2001; 322(7294): 1083.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1120232/.  This is just a press release spouting the dogma from previous articles.  The court dismisses this as evidence.


MacDonald, NE., Pickering, L. Canadian Paediatric Society, Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee.  Autism Spectrum Disorder:  No causal relationship with vaccines.  Paediatric Child Health 2007;12(5):393-5.  http://www.cps.ca/documents/position/autistic-spectrum-disorder-no-causal-relationship-with-vaccines.  This is just the The Canadian Paediatric Society’s official stance on MMR.  Nothing new we haven’t seen already.  Not a study.

Meadows, M.  IOM Report:  no link between vaccines and autism.  FDA Consumer. 2004 Sep-Oct;38(5):18-9.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1559514.  Link shows nothing.

Meilleur, AA., Fombonne, E.  Regression of language and non-language skills in pervasive development disorders.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.  2009 Feb;53(2):115-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2008.01134.x. Epub 2008 Nov 27.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19054269.  I feel like this one they just added something about thimerosal at the end.  They were looking to see if behaviors changed before regression and when.  There was no intent to study if the kids had thimerosal or not.  But again, they did have vaccines in common, whether it contained mercury or not.

Miller, E.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism –epidemiologic evidence against such an association is compelling.  Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  2003 Jul;14(3):199-206.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12913832.  Another review of literature.  People get paid to do these?  I should probably charge for this blog post then.  Feel free to donate money to the imaginary donate button on the right hand side.

Miller, E., Andrews, N., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Taylor, B.  No evidence of an association between MMR vaccine and gait disturbance.  Archives of Disease in Childhood.  2005.  Mar;90(3):292-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15723921.  Since there are claims that MMR causes walking problems, they looked at hospital and GP admission records for 12-24 month old kids with gait patterns.  Don’t all 12-24 month olds walk funny?  The average onset of autism from previous studies reviewed seems to be 6 years old.  Maybe 5-7 year olds would have been a better subject matter.

Miller, L., Reynolds J.  Autism and vaccination – the current evidenceJournals for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing.  2009 Jul;14(3):166-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2009.00194.x. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19614825.  A review of literature for a nursing journal so all the nurses can tell parents there’s no causation and the nurses can then quote a journal article opposed to an internet blog post.

Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A.  The relationship between MMR vaccination and the number of new cases of autism in children.  Przeglad epidemiologiczny.  2008;62(3):597-604. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19108524.

The MMR vaccination coverage in Malopolskie voivodeship improved rapidly and finally reached a high level during last years.  The number of new cases of autism spectrum disorders in children during that time revealed a slightly rising but not significant trend, while the number of childhood autism were stable. Ecological study showed no correlation between MMR vaccination and an increased risk of childhood autism and autism spectrum disorders in children.

Who, what, or where is Malopolskie voivodeship?  Didn’t they just say autism was rising as MMR rates were too?

Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A.,  Majewska, R.  Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children:  a case-control study.  Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.  2010 May;29(5):397-400. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181c40a8a.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19952979.  I’m surprised their conclusion on this wasn’t that MMR actually protects against autism compared to single measles vaccine and those that hadn’t received the MMR shot yet.

Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Majewska, R. Kiełtyka, A. & Augustyniak, M.  Lack of association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.  Przeglad epidemiologiczny.  2011,65(3), 491-495. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19952979. This is the same exact study as the one previous, just in a  different journal.

Muhle, R., Trentacoste, SV., Rapin, I.  The genetics of autismPediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):e472-86.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15121991.

Autism is a complex, behaviorally defined, static disorder of the immature brain that is of great concern to the practicing pediatrician because of an astonishing 556% reported increase in pediatric prevalence between 1991 and 1997, to a prevalence higher than that of spina bifida, cancer, or Down syndrome.

There is convincing evidence that “idiopathic” autism is a heritable disorder.

The recurrence rate in siblings of affected children is approximately 2% to 8%, much higher than the prevalence rate in the general population but much lower than in single-gene diseases.  Twin studies reported 60% concordance for classic autism in monozygotic (MZ) twins versus 0 in dizygotic (DZ) twins, the higher MZ concordance attesting to genetic inheritance as the predominant causative agent. Reevaluation for a broader autistic phenotype that included communication and social disorders increased concordance remarkably from 60% to 92% in MZ twins and from 0% to 10% in DZ pairs.

This suggests that interactions between multiple genes cause “idiopathic” autism but that epigenetic factors and exposure to environmental modifiers may contribute to variable expression of autism-related traits.

These guys are basically saying that it’s a genetic disease, inherited, and environmental factors have only an affect on expression.  But how can we have a 556% increase in only a 6 year span and call that inherited?  The sad reality is that not many autistic individuals will grow up to have kids of their own.  Therefore, the ‘gene’ for autism wouldn’t be passed along.   It is interesting that identical twins have a way higher rate than fraternal twins.  But again, if it were truly a genetic cause, than identical twins should have 100% concordance.  Is there a genetic piece to autism?  Sure but I would say it’s more of a SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) piece opposed to a whole defective gene.

To stay on topic of vaccines and autism, their reference is just a mention to the literature review.

Nelson, KB., Bauman, ML.  Thimerosal and autism?  Pediatrics.  2003.  Mar;111(3):674-9.http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/3/674.long.  They rule out mercury as a cause of autism because there have been other times in history where mercury exposure has increased dramatically and no rates of autism increased.  They also argue that with the removal mercury, we should see a decrease in autism.  They also argue there’s not much research on the effects of ethyl mercury (those found in vaccines) versus lots of research on methyl mercury exposure (that which is found in fish) and that you can’t say the 2 are one in the same.  I don’t disagree with their points.  The point I do disagree with is that autism rates increasing is pretty much because we are diagnosing it more.

Offit, PA., Coffin, SE.  Communicating science to the public:  MMR vaccine and autism. Vaccine.  2003.  Dec 8;22(1):1-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14604564. This is from vaccine spokesperson #1 Dr. Paul Offit.  It’s another literature review.  If you have ever seen any media talk about vaccines, Offit is almost always there to defend vaccines.  He even has a patent on the roto virus vaccine.  Conflict of interest much?

Stratton, K., Ford, A., Rusch, E., Wright Clayton, E.  Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines; Institute of Medicine.  Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality.  Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012. (a review of more than ONE THOUSAND studies).  http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13164.  This is an 892 page book you can download for free.  I didn’t read it.  I’m guessing the people that use this as a reference didn’t either since in the marketing copy, it states:

Adverse Effects of Vaccines reviews the epidemiological, clinical, and biological evidence regarding adverse health events associated with specific vaccines covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), including the varicella zoster vaccine, influenza vaccines, the hepatitis B vaccine, and the human papilloma virus vaccine, among others. For each possible adverse event, the report reviews peer-reviewed primary studies, summarizes their findings, and evaluates the epidemiological, clinical, and biological evidence. It finds that while no vaccine is 100 percent safe, very few adverse events are shown to be caused by vaccines. In addition, the evidence shows that vaccines do not cause several conditions. For example, the MMR vaccine is not associated with autism or childhood diabetes. Also, the DTaP vaccine is not associated with diabetes and the influenza vaccine given as a shot does not exacerbate asthma.

It does start with the premise that in 1900 lots of babies were dying and it was all because of vaccines that more babies live today.  The reality is that wide spread vaccine use didn’t start until the mid 1950s, when 90% of the ‘vaccine’ preventable diseases were already wiped out.  But let’s give credit to the sacred cow of medicine in every instance of people living past age 1.

Patja, A., Davidkin, I., Kurki, T.,  Marku, J., Kallio, T., Valle, M., Peltola, H.  Serious adverse events after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination during a fourteen-year prospective follow-up.  2000.  Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal.  2000;19:1127-34. http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/MMR.pdf.  This si looking at all reported MMR side effects in Finland from 1982 to 1996.  Out of 3 million vaccine doses, only 173 were classified as serious and after furthe review, they conclude that 45% of those were probably caused by something else, not the vaccine.

Parker, S.K., Schwartz, B., Todd, J., Pickering, L.K.  Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: A critical review of published original data.  2004.  Pediatrics, 114, 793-804. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342856.  A review of the literature that they conclude there’s no link.  They do admit, of the studies that have an association between mercury and autism, those are poorly designed and therefore are thrown out of consideration.

Parker, S. Todd, J., Schwartz., B., Pickering, L.K.  Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: A critical review of published original data.  2005. Pediatrics. Jan;115(1):200.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630018.  A literature review, no new study.

Pichichero, ME., Cernichiari, E., Lopreiato, J., Treanor, J.  Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2002 Nov 30;360(9347):1737-41.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480426.

This looked at blood concentrations of mercury in infants that had vaccines that contained mercury versus those that had vaccines that didn’t contain mercury.  The results is that the kid who had vaccines with mercury had mercury in the blood.  In the control group, vaccines with no mercury only 1 of the 15 had detectable values of blood mercury.  The conclusion that despite all the mercury onslaught, the levels in the blood did not rise to above dangerous levels.  They say that it’s cleared quickly by the GI system.

First, there was no conclusion around whether these kids were autistic or not so this cannot be used in the argument that mercury does or does not cause autism.  Secondly, if you are pro or anti-vaccine, I feel like knowing that mercury is being injected into your 0 to 6 month old would be concerning, no matter if they were autistic or not.  Third, it’s the clearance of mercury that’s the problem.  The kids in Wakefield’s study all had GI issues (not that all autistic kids have GI issues).  If the GI system is dysfunctional, then the mercury clearance is going to be delayed or inhibited.  This would add weight to my argument that autism is a perfect storm of issues, not just an event and ‘boom’ you kid regresses.

Peltola, H., Patja, A., Leinikki, P., Valle, M., Davidkin, I., & Paunio, M.  No evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine-associated inflammatory bowel disease or autism in a 14-year prospective study.  1998.  Lancet, 351(9112), 1327.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9643797.  You need to purchase this article, in which I did not.  But in a prospective study, I’m going to guess they looked at the diminishing use of mercury in vaccines or constant use of the MMR and the increasing rate of autism and conclude they cannot be related.  But that’s purely speculative.

Plotkin, S., Gerber, J. S., & Offit, P. A. (2009).  Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses.  Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48(4), 456-461.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908388/.  Another one with Offit’s name on it.  Offit has been famous for saying that a baby can handle thousands of vaccines at once.

Vaccines do not overwhelm the immune system. Although the infant immune system is relatively naive, it is immediately capable of generating a vast array of protective responses; even conservative estimates predict the capacity to respond to thousands of vaccines simultaneously.

Again, in their conclusion, vaccines don’t cause autism because the kids that have had a court rule in their favor, they all had an underlying condition like mitochondria dysfunction.  It’s just the sacred cow that autism can be caused or contributed to by anything EXCEPT a vaccine that raises my flag.

Price, C. S., Thompson, W. W., Goodson, B., Weintraub, E. S., Croen, L. A., Hinrichsen, V. L., DeStefano, F.  Prenatal and infant exposure to thimerosal from vaccines and immunoglobulins and risk of autism.  2010.  Pediatrics, 126(4), 656-664.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20837594.  They conclude that all these kids exposed to mercury in vaccines had the same exposure to mercury in the autistic and non-autistic groups and therefore conclude early exposure to mercury don’t increase the odds of getting autism.

Roehr B.  Study finds no association between vaccines and autism.  2013.  British Medical Journal.  Apr 3;346:f2095. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f2095.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23554072.  This is the exact same study reported directly above it.  The people that are using this as evidence and the volume of literature supporting no link between autism and vaccines are double dipping.  This doesn’t count in the 107.

Richler, J., Luyster, R., Risi, S., Hsu, W. L., Dawson, G., Bernier, R., … & Lord, C. (2006). Is there a ‘regressive phenotype’ of Autism Spectrum Disorder associated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine?  A CPEA Study.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(3), 299-316. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16729252.  This concludes no link because they asked a bunch of parents about when their child’s autism developed.  IN these cases, it wasn’t associated with MMR.  But if they asked enough parents, I bet they could find just as many that are convinced it did happen right after an MMR.

Rumke, HC., Visser, HK.  Childhood vaccinations anno 2004. II. The real and presumed side effects of vaccination.  Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde.  2004 Feb 21;148(8):364-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15032089.  The researched acknowledge there are negative effects with vaccines.  They seem to disregard the more recent reported side effects as non related.  If the side effect is immediately after the shot like fainting or redness, it’s a real side effect.  If something develops later, it’s a fake side effect.

Schechter, R., Grether, JK.  Continuing increases in autism reported to California’s developmental services system: mercury in retrograde.  Archives of General Psychiatry.  2008 Jan;65(1):19-24. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.1.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180424.  Their conclusion that autism and mercury are unrelated since autism increased when mercury was removed.

Schultz, ST.  Does thimerosal or other mercury exposure increase the risk for autism?  A review of the current literature.  Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. 2010;70(2):187-95.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20628442.  Some interesting snippets.

This report also “concludes that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and autism”. In our own study, we found that acetaminophen use after the MMR vaccine was associated with autism (Schultz et al. 2008) which could have been responsible for a suspected association of the MMR vaccine and autism.

For this study, environmental mercury is defined as any mercury exposure other than from thimerosal in vaccine or Rh immune globulin injections.


Acetaminophen is going to wreck the gut adding GI effects.  And I didn’t even think that the Rh immune injections would be a source of mercury.  Good to know.

Shevell, M.,Fombonne, E. Autism and MMR vaccination or thimerosal exposure: an urban legend?  Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.  2006 Nov;33(4):339-40.http://cjns.metapress.com/content/xqxx6ha3ufaeuunv/?genre=article&issn=0317-1671&volume=33&issue=4&spage=339.  The link cited does not work.  I tried multiple times.

Smeeth, L., Cook, C., Fombonne, E., Heavey, L., Rodrigues, L. C., Smith, P. G., & Hall, A. J. (2004). MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study.  The Lancet, 364(9438), 963-969. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15364187.

1010 cases (78.1%) had MMR vaccination recorded before diagnosis.

They argue that there isn’t an increased risk of PDD associated with MMR.  But that doesn’t mean you can totally rule a risk of MMR.

Smith, M. J., & Woods, C. R.  On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.  Pediatrics.  2010. 125(6), 1134-1141.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20498176.

Timely vaccination was associated with better performance on 12 outcomes in univariate testing and remained associated with better performance for 2 outcomes in multivariable analyses.  42 neuropsychological outcomes were analyzed.

So the kids with recommended vaccine administration performed better on 14 outcomes.  But what about the other 28 outcomes they tested?

Solt, I., Bornstein, J.  Childhood vaccines and autism – much ado about nothing? Harefuah. 2010 Apr;149(4):251-5, 260.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20812501.  A press release for those Hebrew speaking people of the world.

Singh, VK. Rivas, WH.  Detection of antinuclear and antilaminin antibodies in autistic children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines  – mercury as in thimerosal-containing vaccines is likely not related to autoimmune phenomenon in autism.   Journal of Biomedical Science.  2004 Sep-Oct;11(5):607-10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316135.  These guys looked for antibodies caused by mercury exposure and found no difference in these antibodies between autistic and non-autistic kids.

But couldn’t those antibodies be a problem down the road, 5, 7, 35 years later in life?

Steffenburg, S., Steffenburg, U., Gillberg, C.  Autism spectrum disorders in children with active epilepsy and learning disability:  comorbidity, pre and perinatal backgound, and seizure characteristics.   Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.  2003 Nov;45(11):724-30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14580127.

There was no increase in the prevalence of active epilepsy and learning disability nor in the rate of autism with active epilepsy and learning disability in children born between 1981 and 1986 compared with those born from 1976 to 1980, indicating no statistical association with the general measles-mumps-rubella vaccination introduced in the early 1980s.

Stehr-Green, P., Tull, P., Stellfeld, M., Mortenson, PB., Simpson, D.  Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: lack of consistent evidence for an association.   American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  2003 Aug;25(2):101-6.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12880876.

In all three countries, the incidence and prevalence of autism-like disorders began to rise in the 1985-1989 period, and the rate of increase accelerated in the early 1990s. However, in contrast to the situation in the United States, where the average Thimerosal dose from vaccines increased throughout the 1990s, Thimerosal exposures from vaccines in both Sweden and Denmark-already low throughout the 1970s and 1980s-began to decrease in the late 1980s and were eliminated in the early 1990s.

Taylor, B.  Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism.  Child: Care, Health and Development Journal.  2006 Sep;32(5):511-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16919130.

There has (probably) been no real increase in the incidence of autism. There is no scientific evidence that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the mercury preservative used in some vaccines plays any part in the etiology or triggering of autism, even in a subgroup of children with the condition.

This is the first of 4 studies quoted by the same author.  By saying, there has been no real increase in autism is a slap in the face of parents with autistic children, the special ed departments of schools, and the doctors that see an increase in developmental delays and regression.  By saying there’s no increase, is saying that we have always had this problem.  Would he say the same about heart disease, obesity, and cancer?  That we’re just better at detecting and diagnosing it?

Taylor, B., Miller, E., Farrington, C., Petropoulos, M., Favot-Mayaud, I., Li, J., & Waight, P. A. (1999).  Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association.  Lancet, 353(9169), 2026-20.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10376617.

No significant temporal clustering for age at onset of parental concern was seen for cases of core autism or atypical autism with the exception of a single interval within 6 months of MMR vaccination. This appeared to be an artifact related to the difficulty of defining precisely the onset of symptoms in this disorder.

When there is a reported increase in autism after MMR, it gets chalked up to poor reporting and an ‘artifact.’  These researches have their mind made up before going into the results.

Taylor, B., Miller, E., Lingam, R., Andrews, N., Simmons, A., & Stowe, J.  Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study.  2002.  British Medical Journal, 324(7334), 393-396.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11850369.

A possible association between non-specific bowel problems and regression in children with autism was seen but this was unrelated to MMR vaccination.

This is all Wakefield said.  There may be a connection between the GI system and developmental issues in the nervous system and that it needs to be explored.  Taylor et all, explored it and actually agree.  They disagree that MMR is associated but shouldn’t this get more attention?

Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Miller, E., Andrews, N.  Autism and MMR vaccination in North London: no causal relationship.   2002.  Molecular Psychiatry. 7 Suppl2:S7-8.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12142932.

The pattern of bowel abnormalities identified in the Wakefield et al case series was described as a specific ‘autistic enterocolitis’.

This is the issue Taylor has with Wakefield’s research.  He’s upset about the word ‘specific’ when describing autism and GI effects.  In his own conclusion from the previous study, he entertains the possibility of a ‘non-specific’ bowel problem.  Disease pattern is rarely like it appears in a text book.  In my 11 years of clinical practice, what I studied in a text isn’t what shows up in the office.  There are variations, compounding dysfunctions, and personal experiences that change what the should be in a text book.

Thjodleifsson, B., Davidsdóttir, K., Agnarsson, U., Sigthórsson, G., Kjeld, M., Bjarnason, I. Effect of Pentavac and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination on the intestine. Gut.  2002 Dec;51(6):816-7.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12427783.  If you are going to disprove Wakefield, shouldn’t you use the same parameters?  These researchers use different criteria of assessing bowel inflammation.

It would like if I studied fruit consumption and hair loss.  In my study I observe there were high consumptions of apples.  Because someone hates me, they are going to disprove my results but studying oranges.  In their conclusion, there was no increase in orange consumption and hair loss and therefore fruit doesn’t cause hair loss.

Thompson, WW., Price, C., Goodson, B., Shay, DK., Benson, P., Hinrichsen, BL., Lewis, E., Eriksen, E., Ray, P., Marcy, SM., Dunn, J., Jackson, LA., Lieu, TA., Black, S., Stewart, G., Weintraub, ES., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F.,  Vaccine Data Link Safety Team.  Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years.  New England Journal of Medicine.  2007 Sep 27;357(13):1281-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17898097.

We enrolled 1047 children between the ages of 7 and 10 years and administered standardized tests assessing 42 neuropsychological outcomes. (We did not assess autism-spectrum disorders.)

They did not study autism in this study so you can’t use this in your argument to support that vaccines don’t cause or contribute to autism.  Nice try.

Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., & Inaba, Y.  MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum disorders: negative results presented from Japan.  2007.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(2), 210-217. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16865547.

This is actually in an autism journal.  Again, there is no difference between those that had MMR and those that did not as to autism rates.

Uno, Y., Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., Aleksic, B., & Ozaki, N.  The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder:  first case–control study in Asia.  2012. Vaccine, 30(28), 4292-4298. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22521285.

Very similar to the one above.  No difference in autism with increase or decrease vaccine load in Japan.

Verstraeten T., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F., Lieu, TA., Rhodes, PH., Black, SB., Shinefield, H., Chen RT. Safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines: a two-phased study of computerized health maintenance organization databases.   Pediatrics.   2003 Nov;112(5):1039-48. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14595043.

In phase I at HMO A, cumulative exposure at 3 months resulted in a significant positive association with tics.  At HMO B, increased risks of language delay were found for cumulative exposure at 3 months and 7 months.  At HMO C, no significant associations were found.

2 of 3 HMOs found a significant association in neurological developmental issues but because they weren’t diagnosed with autism, then mercury and autism have no link.  They even say their own study is conflicted and no conclusion can be created.  With that, you can’t use this as evidence of no link.

Whitehouse, AJ., Maybery, M., Wray, JA., Hickey, M.  No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population. Developmental Medicine and Childhood Neurology.  2011.  May;53(5):457-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03915.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21418197

Did the person with autism have early GI issues?  They found no link.  But this doesn’t say anything about vaccines and GI issues, or MMR and GI issues.

Weisser, K., Bauer, K., Volkers, P., Keller-Stanislawski, B.  Thimerosal and immunizationsevidence does not support the hypothesis of a potential relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and thiomersal-containing vaccines.  2004. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz.  Dec;47(12):1165-74.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15583887.

This basically says that German kids have hardly no thimerasol containing vaccines yet autism increased so therefore it’s not the mercury.

MMR vaccine is not linked to Crohn’s disease or autismCommun Dis Rep CDR Weekly.1998 Mar 27;8(13):113.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9592960.  No data at this link.


The 24 articles (studies, reviews, etc.) that show a link between vaccines and autism.

Again, these are passed and shared around internet world to prove there is a link between vaccines and autism.  You be the judge.

David A Geier, Brian S Hooker, Janet K Kern, Paul G King, Lisa K Sykes, and Mark R GeierA two-phase study evaluating the relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccine administration and the risk for an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in the United States. Transl Neurodegener. 2013; 2: 25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878266/.  They looked at reported adverse vaccine reactions in the government’s data base comparing those that got mercury containing DTaP and Hep B shots and found a significant increase in autism with more mercury exposure.

Delong G. A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011;74(14):903-16. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.573736. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535.

The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI.

The researcher does say there’s probably a genetic component but that a vaccine, even without mercury, can be a trigger in neurological developmental delays.

Chhawchharia R, Puliyel JM.  Commentary–Controversies surrounding mercury in vaccines: autism denial as impediment to universal immunisation.  Indian J Med Ethics. 2014 Oct-Dec;11(4):218-22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25377033.

In 2004, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a paper showing that there is no link between the age at which a child is vaccinated with MMR and the vaccinated children’s risk of a subsequent diagnosis of autism. One of the authors, William Thompson, has now revealed that statistically significant information was deliberately omitted from the paper. Thompson first told Dr S Hooker, a researcher on autism, about the manipulation of the data. Hooker analysed the raw data from the CDC study afresh. He confirmed that the risk of autism among African American children vaccinated before the age of 2 years was 340% that of those vaccinated later.

This is the whole reason for the Vaxxed movie.  There was a whistle blower in a CDC study that came out and said there was no link to vaccines and autism, when their own data proved otherwise.  I know I’m biased towards not vaccinating but there’s a lot more to preserve for the US government in the stance that vaccines and autism are not linked.

Hooker B, Kern J, Geier D, Haley B, Sykes L, King P, Geier M.  Methodological issues and evidence of malfeasance in research purporting to show thimerosal in vaccines is safe.  Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:247218. doi: 10.1155/2014/247218. Epub 2014 Jun 4.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995277.

There are over 165 studies that have focused on Thimerosal, an organic-mercury (Hg) based compound, used as a preservative in many childhood vaccines, and found it to be harmful. Of these, 16 were conducted to specifically examine the effects of Thimerosal on human infants or children with reported outcomes of death; acrodynia; poisoning; allergic reaction; malformations; auto-immune reaction; Well’s syndrome; developmental delay; and neurodevelopmental disorders, including tics, speech delay, language delay, attention deficit disorder, and autism. In contrast, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that Thimerosal is safe and there is “no relationship between [T]himerosal[-]containing vaccines and autism rates in children.” This is puzzling because, in a study conducted directly by CDC epidemiologists, a 7.6-fold increased risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy was found. The CDC’s current stance that Thimerosal is safe and that there is no relationship between Thimerosal and autism is based on six specific published epidemiological studies coauthored and sponsored by the CDC. The purpose of this review is to examine these six publications and analyze possible reasons why their published outcomes are so different from the results of investigations by multiple independent research groups over the past 75+ years.

My commentary cannot compare to the ones already provided by the researchers themselves.  Remember, science isn’t about trying to be right, it’s about trying to figure out what is right.  Using the CDC’s own data, these guys found the CDC was trying to be right in the conclusions of their own studies and are calling them out.

Singh VK, Lin SX, Newell E, Nelson C.  Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autismJ Biomed Sci. 2002 Jul-Aug;9(4):359-64. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534.

We suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.

They detected antibodies which is unique to the measles subunit of the vaccine.  They aren’t saying the MMR is causing autism, they are saying there is an inappropriate immune response to the MMR vaccine.  They also looked at non-autistic subjects that had the MMR and found none of these antibodies.  Again, there are deeper issues in the perfect storm of autism.  It’s not a one cause issue.

Gallagher CM, Goodman MS. Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2010;73(24):1665-77. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2010.519317. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170.

Boys vaccinated as neonates had threefold greater odds for autism diagnosis compared to boys never vaccinated or vaccinated after the first month of life. Non-Hispanic white boys were 64% less likely to have autism diagnosis relative to nonwhite boys. Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period. Non-white boys bore a greater risk.

This is another one looking at increase reports of autism diagnosis from a US national database.  This doesn’t look at MMR as a causal factor.  I think this is the criticism of the vaccine causes autism side.  They change their tune often.  At first it was the MMR causes autism.  Then it was mercury.  Now it’s that vaccines in general cause autism.  If there’s one thing the ‘yes-link’ can learn from the ‘no-link’ side is that the ‘no-link’ is consistent in their message, no matter if you believe it to be true or not.

Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA.  Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?  J Inorg Biochem. 2011 Nov;105(11):1489-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Aug 23.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099159.

Dysfunctional immunity and impaired brain function are core deficits in ASD. Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Hence, adjuvant Al has the potential to induce neuroimmune disorders. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, two key points ought to be considered: (i) children should not be viewed as “small adults” as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; and (ii) if exposure to Al from only few vaccines can lead to cognitive impairment and autoimmunity in adults, is it unreasonable to question whether the current pediatric schedules, often containing 18 Al adjuvanted vaccines, are safe for children?

Our results show that: (i) children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have the highest exposure to Al from vaccines; (ii) the increase in exposure to Al adjuvants significantly correlates with the increase in ASD prevalence in the United States observed over the last two decades; and (iii) a significant correlation exists between the amounts of Al administered to preschool children and the current prevalence of ASD in seven Western countries, particularly at 3-4 months of age.

These guys bring up some great points that maybe it’s not mercury but what about the other toxic heavy metal used in vaccines?  Not one of the 107 ‘no-link’ articles from above even addressed this.

Graham E. Ewing.  What is regressive autism and why does it occur? Is it the consequence of multi-systemic dysfunction affecting the elimination of heavy metals and the ability to regulate neural temperature? N Am J Med Sci. 2009 Jul; 1(2): 28–47.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/.

This article explores the issues and concludes that sensory dysfunction and systemic failure, manifested as autism, is the inevitable consequence arising from subtle DNA alteration and consequently from the overuse of vaccines.

Under normal circumstances exposure to a viral disease would be countered (in vivo) at various levels enabling the body to steadily increase its immune response. By contrast, the injection of vaccines directly into the blood system overpowers the normal immune response leading to its rapid depletion. It is now suspected that long-term persistence of viruses and other proteins may produce chronic disease i.e. instead of producing a genuine immunity the vaccines are altering the body’s systemic and biochemical stability, suppressing the production of differing types of white blood cells and hence immune function.

This guy is basically saying the nervous system is stuck in protection mode do to never allowing the body to fully recover from the repeated immune response. He’s saying that autistic kids are stuck in fight or flight.  If you have read anything I’ve ever written, I would have to agree whole heartedly with that take on autism.  It’s not just the vaccines but other life experiences from in utero, birth trauma, deficiencies, toxicities, etc that cause the nervous system to shift into a constant protective mode.

Geier DA, Geier MR.  A case series of children with apparent mercury toxic encephalopathies manifesting with clinical symptoms of regressive autistic disordersJ Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007 May 15;70(10):837-51.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, IRB number IRB00005375 approved the present study. A case series of nine patients who presented to the Genetic Centers of America for a genetic/developmental evaluation are discussed. Eight of nine patients (one patient was found to have an ASD due to Rett’s syndrome) (a) had regressive ASDs; (b) had elevated levels of androgens; (c) excreted significant amounts of mercury post chelation challenge; (d) had biochemical evidence of decreased function in their glutathione pathways; (e) had no known significant mercury exposure except from Thimerosal-containing vaccines/Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations; and (f) had alternate causes for their regressive ASDs ruled out.

Yes, they found increase levels of mercury in these autistic cases but they also admitted to other factors like increase in androgens and dysfunctions in their glutathione pathways.  The glutathione pathways has the most interest to me because one of Wakefield’s finding was urinary methylmalonic-acid concentrations were raised in most of the children, a finding indicative of a functional vitamin B12 deficiency.

The activation and utilization of B12 and folate are essential in the glutathione pathways.  Could this functional deficiency in B12 be the bigger underlying issue in autistic people that is getting overlooked?

 Geier DA, King PG, Sykes LK, Geier MR.  A comprehensive review of mercury provoked autism.  Indian J Med Res. 2008 Oct;128(4):383-411.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106436

Mercurials may be found in drugs for the eye, ear, nose, throat, and skin; in bleaching creams; as preservatives in cosmetics, tooth pastes, lens solutions, vaccines, allergy test and immunotherapy solutions; in antiseptics, disinfectants, and contraceptives; in fungicides and herbicides; in dental fillings and thermometers; and many other products.

Finally, a review of treatments suggests that ASD patients who undergo protocols to reduce Hg and/or its effects show significant clinical improvements in some cases. In conclusion, the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence favours acceptance that Hg exposure is capable of causing some ASDs.

This actually goes against the mantra that the mercury in vaccines cause autism since there are so many other potential sources of mercury.  I think the data that reducing mercury in ASD showed improvement in SOME cases doesn’t add proof that mercury was the cause.  That’s like saying some of my chiropractic clients that get adjusted lose weight because they feel better and make better lifestyle choices and giving credit to the adjustment for the weight loss.

Janet K. Kern, Boyd E. Haley, David A. Geier, Lisa K. Sykes, Paul G. King, and Mark R. Geier.  Thimerosal Exposure and the Role of Sulfation Chemistry and Thiol Availability in AutismInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Aug; 10(8): 3771–3800. Published online 2013 Aug 20. doi:  10.3390/ijerph10083771.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774468.  

The interplay of TM with the abnormal sulfation chemistry and limited thiol availability and redox capacity observed in those diagnosed with an ASD is likely an integral factor in the etiology of autism.

Again, it’s not that thimerosal is directly causing autism, it’s that autistic individuals seem to have a problem the detoxification of the mercury or other heavy metals. This doesn’t support that vaccines cause autism.  This supports that there are other physiological effects that can’t handle the onslaught of vaccines.

Martyn A. Sharpe, Taylor L. Gist, and David S. Baskin.  B-Lymphocytes from a Population of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Unaffected Siblings Exhibit Hypersensitivity to Thimerosal.  J Toxicol. 2013; 2013: 801517. Published online 2013 Jun 9. doi:  10.1155/2013/801517.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697751/

This suggests certain individuals with a mild mitochondrial defect may be highly susceptible to mitochondrial specific toxins like the vaccine preservative thimerosal.

This doesn’t prove that mercury causes autism.  This proves that there is a more to the picture and that autism is not an event.

Ratajczak HV.  Theoretical aspects of autism: causes–a review.  J Immunotoxicol. 2011 Jan-Mar;8(1):68-79. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2010.545086.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299355.

Autism, a member of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), has been increasing dramatically since its description by Leo Kanner in 1943. First estimated to occur in 4 to 5 per 10,000 children, the incidence of autism is now 1 per 110 in the United States, and 1 per 64 in the United Kingdom, with similar incidences throughout the world.

Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis following vaccination. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain. The inflammation could be caused by a defective placenta, immature blood-brain barrier, the immune response of the mother to infection while pregnant, a premature birth, encephalitis in the child after birth, or a toxic environment.

He says the vaccine could be a factor but it’s not THE factor.  He’s not trying to be right but prove what it right.

Rose NR.  Conjugate vaccines and autism.  Med Hypotheses. 2011 Dec;77(6):937-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.08.033. Epub 2011 Sep 9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21907498.

You have to pay for this one.  I highly doubt anyone paid the $31.50 for 24 hours of access to this article.  I’m sure it came up in a search of vaccines and autism.

Bernard S, Enayati A, Redwood L, Roger H, Binstock T.  Autism: a novel form of mercury poisoning.  Med Hypotheses. 2001 Apr;56(4):462-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11339848.

A review of medical literature and US government data suggests that: (i) many cases of idiopathic autism are induced by early mercury exposure from thimerosal; (ii) this type of autism represents an unrecognized mercurial syndrome; and (iii) genetic and non-genetic factors establish a predisposition whereby thimerosal’s adverse effects occur only in some children.

If something is causal, it should happen every time.  The fact that there is variation in reactions actually lends credibility to the ‘no-link’ side, especially with the removal of mercury.  Many of the studies reviewed are looking at underlying physiological dysfunctions in the mitochondria and glutathione pathways that prove that autism is more complex than a direct cause.

Geier DA, Geier MR.  A prospective study of thimerosal-containing Rho(D)-immune globulin administration as a risk factor for autistic disorders.  J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2007 May;20(5):385-90.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17674242.

Children with ASDs (28.30%) were significantly more likely to have Rh-negative mothers than controls (14.36%). Each ASD patient’s mother was determined to have been administered a TCR during her pregnancy.

This looks at mercury exposure in utero.  The Rh shots contain mercury.  But again, not every Rh negative mom, had an autistic child.  And we also don’t know if there were other vaccines involved after birth.

Richmand BJ.   Hypothesis: conjugate vaccines may predispose children to autism spectrum disorders.  Med Hypotheses. 2011 Dec;77(6):940-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.08.019. Epub 2011 Oct 10.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250.

This is the article I mentioned above you had to pay for.  It’s a repeat, so there aren’t actually 24.

It is hypothesized here that the introduction of the Hib conjugate vaccine in the US in 1988 and its subsequent introduction in Denmark and Israel could explain a substantial portion of the initial increases in ASDs in those countries.

The continuation of the trend toward increased rates of ASDs could be further explained by increased usage of the vaccine, a change in 1990 in the recommended age of vaccination in the US from 15 to 2 months, increased immunogenicity of the vaccine through changes in its carrier protein, and the subsequent introduction of the conjugate vaccine for Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Although conjugate vaccines have been highly effective in protecting infants and young children from the significant morbidity and mortality caused by Hib and S. pneumoniae, the potential effects of conjugate vaccines on neural development merit close examination. Conjugate vaccines fundamentally change the manner in which the immune systems of infants and young children function by deviating their immune responses to the targeted carbohydrate antigens from a state of hypo-responsiveness to a robust B2 B cell mediated response. This period of hypo-responsiveness to carbohydrate antigens coincides with the intense myelination process in infants and young children, and conjugate vaccines may have disrupted evolutionary forces that favored early brain development over the need to protect infants and young children from capsular bacteria.

Ever wonder how a kid can slam on the ground and no bruising or swelling occurs?  It’s because an infant is naturally anti-inflammatory.  Inflammation destroys neurological development so the body will sacrifice damages from potential injury to make sure the brain gets what it needs.  Inflammation is an immune response.  The point of a vaccine, especially a conjugated one is to trigger an immune response, which is accompanied by inflammation.  The more inflammation, the more potential lack of brain development.  This is their hypothesis and it’s very interesting.

As cool as this study is, there is no way to quantify this hypothesis until they look at totally unvaccinated kids versus ones that do receive them and receive them in full versus delayed.

Geier MR, Geier DA.  The potential importance of steroids in the treatment of autistic spectrum disorders and other disorders involving mercury toxicity.  Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(5):946-54.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15780490.

This doesn’t prove anything to do with vaccines and autism.

A review of some of the current biomedical therapies for autistics, such as glutathione and cysteine, chelation, secretin, and growth hormone, suggests that they may in fact lower testosterone levels. We put forward the medical hypothesis that autistic disorders, in fact, represents a form of testosterone mercury toxicity, and based upon this observation, one can design novel treatments for autistics directed towards higher testosterone levels in autistic children.

Couldn’t a higher testosterone level explain that more boys than girls develop autism and that it’s not necessarily a compounding factor?  If we attack testosterone will we add an endocrine problem on top of a neurological problem?

Holmes AS, Blaxill MF, Haley BE.  Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children.  Int J Toxicol. 2003 Jul-Aug;22(4):277-85.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12933322

The mothers in the autistic group had significantly higher levels of mercury exposure through Rho D immunoglobulin injections and amalgam fillings than control mothers. Within the autistic group, hair mercury levels varied significantly across mildly, moderately, and severely autistic children, with mean group levels of 0.79, 0.46, and 0.21 ppm, respectively. Hair mercury levels among controls were significantly correlated with the number of the mothers’ amalgam fillings and their fish consumption as well as exposure to mercury through childhood vaccines, correlations that were absent in the autistic group. Hair excretion patterns among autistic infants were significantly reduced relative to control. These data cast doubt on the efficacy of traditional hair analysis as a measure of total mercury exposure in a subset of the population.

The conclusion of this study has nothing to say about mercury exposure and autism.  I speculate these people were out to prove a link between mercury and autism.  Since their results didn’t match their decision prior to the study, they blame the testing analysis.

Walker SJ, Segal J, Aschner M.  Cultured lymphocytes from autistic children and non-autistic siblings up-regulate heat shock protein RNA in response to thimerosal challenge.  Neurotoxicology. 2006 Sep;27(5):685-92. Epub 2006 Jun 16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870260.

Although there were no apparent differences between autistic and non-autistic sibling responses in this very small sampling group, the differences in expression profiles between those cells treated with zinc versus thimerosal were dramatic.

It shouldn’t be a shock that the immune system responds differently to zinc and mercury.  Most people run for some zinc when they are sick to boost their immune system.  No one has ever stopped and looked for a healthy dose of mercury to get them back to work.  This study actually lends more favor to the ‘no-link’ side than the ‘yes-link’ arguments.

Blaylock RL.  A possible central mechanism in autism spectrum disorders, part 1.  Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):46-53.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043938.

Just like Offit is the spokesperson for the ‘no-link’ side, Russell Blaylock is the spokesperson for the ‘yes-link’ side.  Blaylock is a retired neurosurgeon that developed new treatments for brain tumors as well as treating water on the brain.  Just like Offit has an MD after his name, so does Blaylock.  When people discredit my stance because I don’t share those initials, I often direct them to Blaylock, which should satisfy their criticism.  It turns out, it’s not the initials after all.  It’s that they will back up their point with whomever agrees with them.  The anti-vaccine side is just as guilty.  “He’s an MD that is in bed with Big Pharma.  Instead, I’m going to quote this MD, because he backs up the point I’m trying to make.”  Anyway.  I think Blaylock makes some good points and is looking at a bigger picture than an absolute yes or no.

A careful review of ASD cases discloses a number of events that adhere to an immunoexcitotoxic mechanism. This mechanism explains the link between excessive vaccination, use of aluminum and ethylmercury as vaccine adjuvants, food allergies, gut dysbiosis, and abnormal formation of the developing brain. It has now been shown that chronic microglial activation is present in autistic brains from age 5 years to age 44 years. A considerable amount of evidence, both experimental and clinical, indicates that repeated microglial activation can initiate priming of the microglia and that subsequent stimulation can produce an exaggerated microglial response that can be prolonged. It is also known that one phenotypic form of microglia activation can result in an outpouring of neurotoxic levels of the excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid. Studies have shown that careful control of brain glutamate levels is essential to brain pathway development and that excesses can result in arrest of neural migration, as well as dendritic and synaptic loss. It has also been shown that certain cytokines, such as TNF-alpha, can, via its receptor, interact with glutamate receptors to enhance the neurotoxic reaction. To describe this interaction I have coined the term immunoexcitotoxicity, which is described in this article.

Bernard S, Enayati A, Roger H, Binstock T, Redwood L.  The role of mercury in the pathogenesis of autismMol Psychiatry. 2002;7 Suppl 2:S42-3.  http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v7/n2s/pdf/4001177a.pdf.

Nearly all American children are immunized but less than 1% have ASD. This pattern is consistent with response to low dose mercury exposure, which is characterized by wide interindividual variation. Acrodynia, a severe disease of early childhood prevalent 50 years ago, illustrates this phenomenon. Acrodynia was caused by small amounts of mercuric chloride in teething powders. Although use of the powders was widespread, only a small percentage of children developed the disease. Occasionally siblings of acrodynia patients succumbed as well, and a genetic link was suggested. Studies on mice and rats have demonstrated the role of genetics in interindividual differences in Hg sensitivity, with most strains resistant, some strains high responders, and still others intermediate. Some high responder strains are those prone to autoimmune disorders.

Now the 2 sides are arguing different points.  The ‘no-link’ side is saying there is no direct link.  The ‘yes-link’ side is saying there is a gradual link and that if you look at the symptoms of mercury poisoning it looks very similar to autism, so therefore autism is possible a mercury poisoning.

Li X, Qu F, Xie W, Wang F, Liu H, Song S, Chen T, Zhang Y, Zhu S, Wang Y, Guo C, Tang TS.  Transcriptomic analyses of neurotoxic effects in mouse brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosalToxicol Sci. 2014 Jun;139(2):452-65. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu049. Epub 2014 Mar 27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675092.

To examine the possible neurotoxic effects of early neonatal exposure to a higher level of thimerosal, FVB mice were subcutaneously injected with thimerosal-mercury at a dose which is 20× higher than that used for regular Chinese infant immunization during the first 4 months of life. Thimerosal-treated mice exhibited neural development delay, social interaction deficiency, and inclination of depression. Apparent neuropathological changes were also observed in adult mice neonatally treated with thimerosal.

Intriguingly, the elevation of anterior pituitary secreting hormones occurred exclusively in male but not in female thimerosal-treated mice, demonstrating for the first time the gender bias of thimerosal-mercury toxicity with regard to endocrine system.

At first, it’s like no sh*t Sherlock, you gave mice 20x the dose a human infant would get of mercury and you noted autistic like symptoms.  But the cool part is that they noticed why boys are more prevalent than girls.  The anterior pituitary is part of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA) that sets off the fight or flight reaction. In the middle of a bear attack, what happens to memory, concentration, learning, your immune system, thyroid, detox pathways, glutathione production, and insulin sensitivity?  They get locked down in favor of doing whatever it takes to make sure you survive the next 30 seconds.  Mice and humans are different but that’s still a cool discovery, right?

Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, King PG, Sykes LK, Geier MR.  A dose-response relationship between organic mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Sep 5;11(9):9156-70. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110909156.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25198681.

On a per microgram of organic-Hg basis, PDD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.054), specific developmental delay (OR = 1.035), tic disorder (OR = 1.034) and hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood (OR = 1.05) cases were significantly more likely than controls to receive increased organic-Hg exposure.

This looks at the Hep B shot as the source of mercury.

The Ultimate Conclusion after reviewing 131 citations.

It’s inconclusive.  Not everyone that has exposure to mercury has autism. We can say that in ALL these studies, the common denominator is that the subjects received vaccines.  No, not everyone developed autism or neuro-developmental delays but it is the constant in the equation so it does need to be explored more.

The only real way to study if vaccines cause autism is to study vaccinated versus non-vaccinated.  We don’t even need a double blinded, randomized controlled study to do that.  Most of these studies were data base reviews.  So let’s review those kids that aren’t vaccinated versus the kids that are.  What are the difference in health outcomes?  There will be some kids non-vaccinated that have developed autism but I have a hunch the percentage of non vaccinated autistic children would be minuscule compared to the fully vaccinated autistic subjects.  But that shows my bias.

Instead of shouting at each other to be right, conserve that energy into finding what is right.  If you have finished this piece, you get a gold star.  Go celebrate and don’t even look at your computer for the next 72 hours.


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  1. You forgot to mention that Wakefield lied about not using selective sampling when he in fact had. Also the fact that it was proven by the British Medical Journal that Wakefield was committing fraud.