Vaccines and Autism: What You Need to Know
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:49 PM
By Sylvia Booth Hubbard
The increase in numbers of American children diagnosed with autism is frightening. Autism cases have skyrocketed between 20 and 30 fold since the early 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In 2014, the CDC released a report stating that one child in 68 had autism, a 30 percent increase from only two years earlier. For boys, the risk was even worse — one in 42.
The condition, which causes difficulty communicating and limited social skills, was so rare in past generations that the term autism wasn't even used in the modern sense until 1938. Autism wasn't classified as a specific illness until the late 1960s.
As the numbers of victims began to rise, desperate parents searched for help — and for answers. Doctors were as clueless as the parents about the cause. Many parents believed their children were normal until they began receiving regularly scheduled vaccinations. Speculation centered around the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, since some parents saw a dramatic spiral into autism immediately following the MMR inoculation.
Holistic physician David Brownstein, M.D., has seen first-hand the agony faced by parents of autistic children. "For over 20 years, I have seen many parents who reported that their child was developing normally until they received a vaccine," he says. "Within hours to days of the vaccine, particularly the MMR vaccine, these parents claim that their children changed in their behavior and attitude.
"The story was always similar," he tells Newsmax Health. "One day the child was normal, the next day he or she was crying and irritable and began regressing on all fronts — neurologically, behaviorally, and emotionally.
"From this point on, the lives of the parents and affected children were changed forever," he says. "Nearly all of these children were eventually diagnosed as autistic."
Dr. Andrew Wakefield published studies in 1998 that questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine and linked it to autism and bowel disease in children. Dr. Wakefield says he found the measles virus in the lymph tissue of 12 autistic children who had never had measles but had received the measles vaccine. Wakefield, who was a world-renowned gastrointestinal surgeon, believed that the MMR vaccine could be causing the inflammation of the gastrointestinal system that affects most autistic children.
The MMR vaccine is produced using a cell line that originated from aborted fetal lung cells, notes Dr. Brownstein. "The concern is that the increase in autism may be due to the introduction of human DNA — from fetal cells — into the MMR and chicken pox vaccines," he says.
Research by scientist Dr. Helen Ratajczak also suggested vaccines could cause autism. After a review of scientific literature, she believed that the onslaught of multiple vaccines was throwing the immune system out of balance. In addition, she believed that the introduction of human DNA via vaccines was causing the body to treat the foreign DNA as invaders, starting an inflammatory process that becomes chronic. The factors combine to increase the risk of autism.
Still, Dr. Wakefield was accused of fraud in connection with his autism research and his medical license was revoked. He continues to be vilified for his research suggesting that vaccines could cause autism.
"For that 'crime,' he was prosecuted by the media and the medical profession," says Dr. Brownstein. Ironically, even though Dr. Wakefield is blamed for the anti-vaccine movement, he didn't advise patients to refuse vaccinations. Instead, he suggested that vaccines for the three diseases contained in the MMR should be given separately.
Still others blamed thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative found in some vaccines, for the dramatic increase in autism, but cases of the condition have continued to rise even after thimerosal was removed from the majority of vaccines.
In May of last year, a paper by prominent immunologist Dr. Bart Classen was published in Molecular and Genetic Medicine. Dr. Classen blamed the increase in autism, as well as increases in diabetes and obesity, to chronic inflammation caused by an overload of vaccines.
"We have been publishing for years that vaccines are causing an epidemic of inflammatory diseases including diabetes, obesity and autism," Dr. Classen wrote. "However the number of vaccines given to children has continued to rise to a point where we have reached a state of immune overload in roughly the majority of young U.S. children.
"The best data indicates that vaccine-induced chronic disease is now of a magnitude that dwarfs almost all prior poisoning of humans, including poisoning from agents like asbestos, low dose radiation, lead, and even cigarettes," Dr. Classen continued.
There are accusations that the CDC has deliberately suppressed evidence of a link between vaccines and autism. "The Centers for Disease Control altered a 2004 study, hiding data that supported Dr. Wakefield’s research," says Dr. Brownstein. "The report stated there was no link between vaccines and autism, but a CDC whistleblower and author of the paper came forward to announce that the paper was a fraud. He said the CDC hid data in the paper which showed a clear link between the early administration of the MMR vaccine and autism."
The whistleblower was CDC senior scientist William Thompson, who issued a statement through his attorney: "I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism."
Many scientists blame the increase in autism on environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals and pollution. Autism hasn't been the only disease that's been skyrocketing among children. Type 1 diabetes, allergies, eczema, cancer, and gastrointestinal problems have also increased significantly.
So, do vaccines cause autism? The consensus of the conventional medicine community is that they do not, and many authorities seem unwilling to consider any evidence to the contrary. More answers may be coming soon. Whistleblower William Thompson has reportedly been given immunity by the Obama administration, and is planning to tell his story to Congress.
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