Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vaccines and Autism

Well, this one may open a can of worms I presume, but it is a hotly debated issue and one that I have heard arguments on both sides many times.  I belong to Medscape, which reviews current literature across medical categories.  Here I can also access archives of research articles that keep me up to date on current discoveries and issues.  In the Week in Review Email, this was highlighted:

Vaccines and Autism: CDC Study Says No Connection

Key points that hit home for me today:

  • The number of vaccine antigens has decreased in recent years although the number of recommended vaccines has increased.  This is the result of changes in vaccines that allow them to more precisely stimulate the immune system.
  • We now have more than a decade since the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccinations and the rate of autism continues to climb.
I celebrate tiny achievements each week with families that include a child with autism, and we may be a long way away from a full explanation on cause, but there are many early warning signs that may help lead us to identifying issues earlier.  Intervention at the earliest sign of trouble usually yields a better outcome for the child and family.  See the following link for a comprehensive list of developmental milestones.  Please contact your pediatrician or local early intervention office if something is amiss!

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