Autism is a range of conditions that effects speech delay and impaired social activity. Nearly 1 in 100 American children is diagnosed with autism. Many parents of an autistic child believed that vaccines were the cause of the disease. This was due to a controversial study by British physician Andrew Wakefield in 1998. He claimed that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine when given to infants was linked to autism. Follow up research was not able to repeat the findings. Now Dr. Wakefield is amid charges of dishonesty and violations of research ethics when they found out that he was being payed off by lawyers to have parents of children given the vaccine sue the drug companies. The medical board is moving to revoke Dr. Wakefield’s license.
The disturbing part of all this is how this doctor gained the trust of worried parents desperate for an answer to why their child had autism. This small study of 12 children was misleading and ignited fearful and desperate parents to form ant-vaccine groups and leaders like Jenny McCarthy, the mother of an autistic child, to lead others to disregard vaccines.
The cause of autism is yet unknown, but multiple genes are being investigated. There may also be a genetic susceptibility to environmental triggers. Hopefully, more scientific research will reveal potential causes of this disease so that effective treatment can be available.
The British doctor who led a study suggesting a link between the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine and autism acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly,” a U.K. regulatory panel has ruled….