MMR vaccine doesn’t lead to autism, study says

Experts conclusively rejected any suggestion that the triple measles, mumps and rubella jab was linked to disorders including autism. The Cochrane Review researchers, who analysed 31 studies from around the world, concluded today that there was no credible evidence behind the claims of harm from the controversial MMR vaccine.

Many parents and advocates for children with autism have been reluctant to accept the conclusions of such studies, and advocates continue to call for more research. Autism, a developmental disorder that usually involves difficulty with language and social cues, withdrawal and repetitive behaviors, has become increasingly common over the past decades, according to New York Newsday. In 1998 controversial research claimed that MMR was linked to autism and the stomach disorder Crohn’s disease.

The research by Dr Andrew Wakefield, published in The Lancet, has since been discredited, although many parents are still concerned and vaccination levels remain lower than hoped.

Research published in The Lancet last year concluded that there was no evidence to support a link between the combined vaccine and autism in children.

Now The Cochrane Library – a regularly updated collection of evidence-based medicine databases – has published its own conclusions on the jab, drawing together all the available information from around the world.

The experts pointed out that the success of vaccination programme may have resulted in people forgetting that measles, mumps and rubella are serious diseases that can lead to permanent damage or even death. The MMR jab was introduced in the US during the 1970s and is now used in over 90 countries around the world.

The researchers concluded that there was no credible link between MMR and any long-term disability – including Crohn’s and autism.

They said that MMR was an important vaccine that had “prevented diseases that still carry a heavy burden of death and complications where the vaccine is not used consistently”.

A scientific review of 31 select studies has found "no credible evidence" linking measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations to autism or Crohn's disease, the authors said. A.M.

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