September 14th, 2010
08:46 AM ET

Study: No increased autism risk from mercury-based perservative in vaccines

Exposing a fetus or young infant to vaccines with the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal does not increase the risk for autism, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics

"This study adds to the evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines do not increase a child's risk of developing autism," lead study author, Dr. Frank DeStefano of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells CNN.

Researchers studied the medical records of 256 children diagnosed with autism and  752 typically developed children born between January 1994 and December 1999.  The children were between 6 and 13 years old when the medical data was reviewed – 85 percent of them were boys.  The research concluded that there was no evidence that children exposed to the mercury in the vaccines were at risk for getting autism.

According to the CDC, an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have some form of autism and boys are 4 to 5 times more likely to have autism than girls.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine reviewed existing research regarding a possible link between vaccines and autism and concluded "that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism."

Still several advocacy groups and many parents believe vaccines caused their children's autism. 

Earlier this year, a federal court set up by Congress to decide claims over vaccine safety, ruled scientific evidence presented did not establish a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Chief Science Officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks calls the study in Pediatrics significant because it found higher levels of thimerosal exposure were not linked to a higher risk for autism.  "One study can't answer all questions, but this study adds to a large body of evidence indicating that early thimerosal exposure through vaccination does not cause autism."  She adds, "we encourage parents to have their children vaccinated and to establish a trusting relationship with their child's pediatrician so they can discuss any concerns they have."

Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has long argued that there is no connection.  He writes about how believing in this connection can put children at risk in his book "Autism's False Prophets."  Offit says "this is at least the 6th study done on thimerosal – they've all shown the same thing.  There's not a relationship between thimerosal and autism."  Offit suggests it's time to move on and focus on other possible causes of autism.

soundoff (822 Responses)
  1. Lynne

    "Funny that in the Amish community who never have their kids vaccinated, it is not an issue. Do we see some disconnect there?"
    The disconnect I see here is that you have made a statement, but provided no reference to back it up!!! So we're supposed to believe you, or what? Does anybody have a reference for the incidence of autism in the Amish? Also, confirming that they do not vaccinate would be good. Thank you.

    September 14, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TuneIn

      No freaking kidding. These dipshits are delusional. They have no idea what the Amish do or don't do, nor do they have a clue what any other groups do or don't do. They're so desperate to find a link between vaccines and autism they will grasp at any straw, no matter how absurd. If they could find a link between the fact that a doctor wears a lab coat and every kid who comes in contact with a lab coat gets autism, they'd attempt to find some conspiracy between the manufacturers of lab coats and the government and tie it to autism.

      Autism didn't just come into existence with vaccines, you dimbulbs. It's been here since before it was even recognized or named. It was here long before the MMR. It just wasn't named or understood as a disorder separate from mental retardation or any other mental disorder.

      But why bother to educate you idiots? Your only goal is to find someone, something, ANYTHING to be a scapegoat so you can make yourselves feel better.

      It won't help. Children will be autistic whether they're vaccinated or not. And then who or what will you blame?

      September 14, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      It's true that you don't hear about Amish having issues with autism but I couldn't even tell you what sort of statistics they have with any disorders so I'm not sure if that proves they have little to none or if it's not something made public.

      If the only difference between us and the Amish were vaccines then I could say this was a compelling argument but there so many more...diet, environment, lifestyle, medical...

      Before, children were being diagnosed with schizophrenia, other mental disorders, families kept these children out of sight, they were put into mental hospitals. This is not the case anymore and these children are being seen and properly diagnosed and as we learn the more fine tuned diagnosis is.

      Children in the 80s were receiving about 187 micrograms of thimerosal within the first 6 months of age, with fewer vaccines. Since 1999 thimerosal has been being removed from childhood vaccines and even though there are more vaccines being given by 6 months of age they're getting little (less than 8 micrograms) to no thimerosal. If you read up on the studies that have been done there has been no link found between vaccines and autism.

      There are so many hypothesis, beyond just vaccines, on what may be the cause or what may be triggers. I know one of the controversies is with the MMR shot but the age when this is given there are so many developmental changes going on at that time it has just as much chance at being a coincidence.

      With more parents choosing not to vaccinate we've gone from having no cases of polio in over 20 years to (I'm sorry I'm remembering how many cases have popped up). Cases of whooping cough, small pox....... There are studies going on that will give scientists an understanding on how disorders occur on a cell level which will tell us a cause and how to prevent.

      Anyways, I chose to vaccinate my children because I see the risk of getting what those vaccines prevent greater than the possibility of a chance that they are a cause of ASD or any other disorder when studies haven't proven it.

      May 3, 2011 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
    • Rainywoman

      To be fair, any community that doesn't marry outside its borders has confined the gene pool. Since autism also has a genetic factor, trying to use the Amish as an example of the proof of autism-vaccine connect is not scientific at all.

      June 8, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      TuneIn is ranting from ignorance.

      Prior generations were well versed in the identification of all sorts of disorders but not autism. It was too rare.

      Autism was first diagnosed in the early 1940s and was extremely rare: about 1 in 300,000
      In 1970 it was about 1 per 20,000, in 1990 about 1 per 300, in 2000 about 1/100.

      The actual numbers in 2010 I believe will be much lower but are and will be hidden from us through propaganda since the conclusions would be obvious.

      June 8, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Leading the sheep...

      Another article attempting to redirect autism causes away from THIMERASOL...do your homework folks, read up on THIMERASOL.... don't be sheep!

      June 8, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  2. maurinemeleck

    They held onto this senseless study until distribution day of a brilliant book
    THE AGE OF AUTISM-MERCURY, MEDICINE, AND A MANMADE EPIDEMIC by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill. Unless they just dug it up from last year's trash. A poor replacement for a book that's going to blow away this " whatever it is" in just a few weeks as it hits the best seller list. The truth shall set us free.
    Maurine Meleck

    September 14, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TuneIn

      You are an idiot.

      September 14, 2010 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • DaveD

      Ah, yes, Dan Olmstead. The "reporter" who couldn't find the hospital in Amish country that treats autistic kids. Yes, the Amish do have autistic kids. No, it is not true that the Amish don't vaccinate. Dan Olmstead could not dig up these facts. Some "reporter."

      September 14, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • TuneIn

      That moron claims to be a reporter? Are you kidding? For what? The "Enquirer"?

      September 14, 2010 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      He is the parent of a child with Autism and a known reporter. Google it.

      September 15, 2010 at 05:37 | Report abuse |
    • TuneIn

      "known to be a reporter"? Which means what? That he reports aliens landing in Philadelphia?

      He's a parent of a child with autism? So what? That makes him an expert?

      Yeah, right. And having a child with skin makes me a dermatologist.


      September 15, 2010 at 07:05 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Unfortunately the need to trust authority often trumps the truth for many people. Those with something to risk will be aware. The rest will simply use this as another way to marginalize and spew their contempt on others who reject such blind trust in authority.

      June 8, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
  3. Taximom5

    The interpretation of this "stud"y is RIDICUULOUS.

    If we find 250 heavy smokers who have lung cancer, and 750 heavy smokers who are cancer-free, does that prove that smoking DOESN'T cause cancer? Of course not!

    And has anyone noticed the percentage of kids with autism in this "study?" TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT?!?!? 25% of the kids in HAnd they interpret that to mean that there is NO link between vaccines and autism????

    Great. We can inject all YOUR children with mercury-containing vaccines, and only 25% of them will develop autism.

    Dr. Gupta, I'm horrified that you can't see this.

    September 14, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TuneIn

      And I'm horrified that someone like you is walking around freely without restraints. Do you even have the first clue what you're talking about?


      Of course you don't. You're an ignorant yahoo.

      September 14, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Taximom5 – I think you're misreading the study. It's what's called a "case-control study." It's more like this: you have 500 people who have lung cancer, and 500 people who don't. Except for the cancer, the two groups of people are matched to include the same range of sex, age, occupation, lifestyle, etc. That's the set-up. Now here's the results:

      Of the 500 who have lung cancer, 450 were smokers, and 350 were heavy smokers.
      Of the 500 who don't have lung cancer, 50 were smokers and 10 were heavy smokers.

      Those results suggest a relationship between smoking and lung cancer.

      The study reported here had 250 children (approximately) with some degree of autism, and 750 without. The news article doesn't say, but my impression is that they might have all been vaccinated, probably some with vaccines that have mercury and some without. Now, if 125 children with autism got vaccine with mercury, and 375 children without autism got vaccine with mercury, that's the same (50%) in both groups. So there's no relationship between whether or not a child has autism and whether or not they got mercury in their vaccine.

      If that's the case, why should we think that there's a relationship between mercury in vaccines and autism?

      September 14, 2010 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      By the way, you can download the actual research paper here:

      Their analysis is more sophisticated than my simplified example, so they would have been -more likely- to pick up a pattern if there were one. But there wasn't.

      September 15, 2010 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      But this study doesn't disprove any link!

      Let's say 25% of kids have some genetic factor that predisposes them to developmental delays if and only if they are exposed to certain toxins.

      You examine 1000 kids exposed to those toxins, find that 25% of them developed autism–which,by the way, is WAY higher than the current average, which is only 1%), and 755 did not develop autism.

      That doesn't mean that the toxins had no role in the autism!

      For heaven's sake, the parents of autistic kids all report the same progression of events–the perfectly normal, socially appropriate toddler was fully vaccinated, and sometime during the second year, within hours of an appointment where multiple vaccines were given, the kid went into seizures, lost eye contact, stopped responding, completely lost speech, starting rocking, headbanging, etc.

      Many parents have video of the day before and the day after the vaccines–the first video shows a normal, socially appropriate toddler, the second shows a profoundly autistic creature.

      It's certainly far easier to dismiss the anecdotal evidence of someone who has lived this nightmare, and claim that most children are fine with the shots, and conclude that therefore there is no problem. But we could do the same thing with the supposedly horrible diseases for which vaccinations exist. Most people are fine after the flu. Most children are fine after mumps, measles, and chicken pox. And when was the last time you heard of a child even being exposed to hepatitis B, let alone becoming infected with it? Remember, hep B is spread by sexual contact and shared needles!

      Why not figure out WHY the kids who react to vaccines are reacting, instead of insisting that they are not reacting? Come on, if a child had a fever, was given medicine, and within a few hours, the fever went down, the doctors would assume that the medicine was "working." Why the double standard here? Why assume that a previously healthy, normal child who has seizures within hours of vaccines "couldn't possibly be reacting to the vaccines?"

      There are nearly 13,000 cases of PROVEN vaccine-induced encephalitis. But most doctors are unaware of this, and will tell you that vaccines "can't do that."

      September 15, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      Kim, my understanding of the study is that the two groups were matched by age, time frame (1991-1999), the fact that they were Kaiser Permanente patients, AND that they had the same number of mercury-containing vaccines. Those were the criteria for the two groups.

      The only goal here seems to have been to say that the non-autistic group had the same number of mercury-containing vaccines as the autistic group did, but that they did not develop autism. Conclusion: vaccines don't cause autism.

      There is simply no scientific basis for that conclusion based on the observations of this "study." They already KNEW that the second group did not have autism.

      One possibility: they were cherry-picking the subjects, like the "Danish" study ("let's take all the autistic kids and kids at statistical high risk for autism out of the study before we start, and then point to the fact that there are no autistic kids at the end of the study and say that autism is therefore not a risk!"). Cherry-pick 750 kids who got mercury-preserved vaccinations but who do not have autism, and say that that is proof that vaccines don't cause autism. Or pick 750 smokers without cancer....

      Another possibility: they took a random sampling of cases matched for age and mercury exposure–and found that 25% were autistic. They can't announce that–it's proof that it DOES cause a high rate of autism! 25% is 25 times HIGHER than the current rate of autism in the general population! So they twist the conclusion to fit the data any way that they can. )"See? 75% didn't get autism–this proves vaccines don't cause autism!" ("See? 75% of smokers didn't get cancer this year–this proves that cigarettes don't cause cancer!")

      September 15, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Taximom5 wrote

      For some kids–the ones who develop autism–it IS the vaccines

      How do you know that? You can't make general conclusions based just on someone you know. The development of epidemiological, experimental, and statistical methods are a huge factor behind the progress in medical understanding over the past century.

      There's an anti-depressant called Serzone® (nefazodone) that has been statistically linked to an increase risk of severe kidney disease, including kidney failure. It has been banned in some countries for that reason. Anti-depressants are real cash cows for pharmaceutical companies, because patients tend to be on them for a long time, even indefinitely. If you have a group of 250,000 who are taking serzone, and 250,000 who are not, you can expect to see one (1) additional case of severe liver disease in the group that's taking serzone. That's an increase of 0.0004% compared to the no-serzone group — a very small number, but statistically detectable and significant.

      By comparison, the number of people who are vaccinated is vastly larger than the number who take serzone. The rate of autism is 2500 (two thousand five hundred) times the rate of liver disease caused by serzone. If there were a statistical association between vaccines and autism, there would be an abundance of data to support that conclusion.

      Do you really think that thousands of people working in government labs, hospitals, universities, and corporations around the world are all complicit in a gigantic cover-up scheme?

      September 16, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
  4. Pat

    This from the house select committee on assassinations which met in 1978 to look deeper into the JFK assassination..... after combing through all of the evidence: In conclusion, the committee found that the scientific acoustical evidence established a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John f. Kennedy.

    They go beyond that, but you get the idea.....more than one gunman.

    September 14, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. randy crawford

    Mercuric info inside text>>>> I've had dozens and dozens of MMR shots including daily for weeks at a time, the purpose being to fight autoimmune disease. It has been working well, with no adverse side effects. Early on (before I found it didn't help and it didn't hurt) I also had twelve tetanus-diptheria shots containing mercurics (all 12 injections withint a few months of one another) and although the mercury-containing shots didn't help diminish my autoimmune symptoms, the mercurics in conjunction with MMR did no harm whatsoever.

    September 15, 2010 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dan

    I would like to ask to Dr Gupta, why he did not cover the Hanna Poling case like other media outlets? He should be ashamed of his position and CNN's.

    September 15, 2010 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      This explains it "http://www.naturalnews.com/025267_health_America_financial_ties.html" There is listing Gupta's associations with many pharmaceuticals. Some of them are CNN's sponsors as well.
      I read the number of Pharmaceutical lobbyist in Washington is bigger than the Congress, and they do have great power.

      September 15, 2010 at 05:26 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      And of course, Dr. Gupta is so impoverished he needs to be paid by "Big Pharma", right? Otherwise, he'd be a complete unknown, wouldn't he?

      September 15, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Dan


    September 15, 2010 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. TuneIn

    You're absolutely bonkers.

    September 15, 2010 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dave

    Poling developed autism-like symptoms, not autism itself. That was caused by a rare genetic abnormality she carried. Hey morons – VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM!

    September 15, 2010 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      This is what we have been telling all this time along..this is not autism, it is vaccine injury – neurological damage. These are only semantics.

      September 15, 2010 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      The antivaxers have made this blog into their little playground. All they have to go off of is anecdotal evidence (worthless). The antivaxers are changing their names and posting the same awful illogical arguments and anectodal evidence over and over again. You will find no real answers here since the waters are too muddy. If you want real answeres just look in the scientific liturature that says there is no link. ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE IS THE ENEMY AND THE BEST METHOD USED BY THE ANTIVAXERS TO PROMOTE THEIR HURTFUL NONSENSE.

      September 15, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      And the problem, Dave, is that it isn't a 'rare genetic abnormality' that she had. This 'rare genetic abnormality' is popping up thousands-fold in children exhibiting autism-like symptoms. No matter how many you call a moron, your tantrums aren't helping your case. It seems as though a vast majority of the ones who don't see the link are quite angry. Why is that?

      September 15, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      And what is the frequency of that mitochondreal mutation? Please show me the study that has found this mutation to be linked to autism. None of the researchers in my lab (they are autism specialists some of them) seem to believe you lol. They must just be part of the conspiracy.

      We are angry because you are spreading lies at the expense of our children's health.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      sorry, autism like symptoms. Not autism.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      If I am a)vaxing my children and b) informing what has happened to my nephew and many more like him how am I a) spreading lies, and b) harming your children?

      September 15, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal


      September 15, 2010 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      see my response below

      September 15, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      Hannah Poling's mother carries the same genetic abnormality. She had only a few vaccines in her entire life, and has not been affected. THEY SHOWED IN THEIR COURT CASE HOW THE VACCINES RESULTED IN HANNAH'S AUTISM.

      September 15, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Duh! If you have enough autistic symptoms you have autism. ADD, Aspergers, Autism are nothing but a collection of symptoms.

      You are the idiot.

      June 8, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  10. AffectedbyThimerosal

    again, why are you ignoring my nephew's case, all those who are naysayers that the vaccines are causing something in these children? I have yet to have anyone respond with their interpretation of what happened to my nephew and thousands of others like him. Go read what happened to him ( a previous post of mine above) and without hurling insults (that just completely discredits you, by the way), give me your opinion of what is going on with my nephew and the others like him.

    September 15, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. AffectedbyThimerosal

    and just so you know, in spite of what has happened to my nephew and others, we are NOT ANTIVAXERS! Everyone who feels like these vaccines are causing something are not anti-vaxers, so process this however you need to before you make judgements. We have vaccinated our children, but we stagger the vaccines so that they are getting only one vaccine per visit. It's way more expensive to do this, but well worth it in my opinion. And this does not mean I am going to sit and be quiet about something obviously going on that is triggering something in a large portion of children.

    September 15, 2010 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • compassmd

      @Affected, I am not trying to sound rude in the following analogy, so please bear with me.
      When a child is vaccinated and they break their arm a few days later, do you blame the vaccine? Of course not. One may have happened after the other, but you wouldn't consider such an occurrence to be linked, would you?

      Let's change up the things a bit. Let's say you have a child vaccinated at age 10. Less than a week later, they hit puberty. Did the vaccine cause puberty? Maybe... but highly unlikely. Repeat this test with 1000s of 10 year olds and you'll get some kids hitting puberty in a week, and some hitting it in a year. That's basically what this looks like compared to vaccines and autism.

      That's what we're saying about vaccines. Vaccines are typically provided around the time that autism does appear, which is why there is so much heat about correlation/causation/coincidence between them.

      Tere could be very well another reason that we're missing entirely. Unvaccinated children continue to get autism, so pointing all the blame at vaccines simply shouldn't be an acceptable result for you either. Scientists believe that there is genetic disposition towards autism, but because no human is identical, there is no way to determine whether genetics is the only thing that plays the factor or not. For all we know, it could be pollution or flouridated water causing the problem. But simply fingering the blame at vaccinations isn't acceptable because there's been no scientific studies since the retracted report that have shown a significant increase in autism in vaccinated children.

      It would be a shame to blame vaccines for autism if it is actually not at fault.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      I totally hear you compassmd, and no, you were not rude at all. Thank you! The thing is, it didn't just happen when he got his MMR vaccines. Even after het got better and got a tetanus shot, and then later a flu shot, he regressed both times. Each time, he had mercury that was not eliminated from his brain, as well as other metals. This is what we are seeing over and over in thousands of children.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
  12. mmmmm

    So i went back and read your original post affectedbythimerosal... Very interested. There's only one Tdap with thimerosal in it, whether your nephew got it or not I don't know.

    Fact is, there is a LOT more mercury in one serving of tuna than in an entire lifetime schedule of immunizations. There's more mercury in placental blood than a lifetime of vaccines. And there's more mercury in breastmilk too. That mercury, the one in food and breastmilk, is methylmercury. That formulation DOES cross the blood-brain barrier. Ethylmercury (thimerosal) does not.

    If mercury is causing your nephew's symtpoms, you should get his parents to stop feeding him fish. THey're killing him.

    September 15, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AffectedbyThimerosal

    Oh, mmmm...how much fish have they been feeding him? I assume by your post that you must know them and feel that they are feeding him fish. i can also assume, by the way you started talking about tuna (WITW?) rather than addressing my questions, that you really have no clue. Thanks for your input, regardless.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • McCluck

      He was poking fun at you use of the "post hoc ergo promter hoc" fallacy when arguing that your nephews son got autism from vaccines. It is you who didnt even have the clue.

      It want the fish. It was the fact that he was wearing socks. He had socks on and then displayed autism like symptoms. Makes sense that it must be the socks lol.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      also, I am not saying it's definitely the Thimerosal or definitely the mercury in these vaccines that are doing this. Rather, I have seen it is SOMETHING in the vaccines that is doing this. I'm open minded enough to explore that it is something entirely different that these two culprits that is causing what it's causing in so many of these children (not the ones with true autism).

      September 15, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
  14. McCluck

    oops that didnt make sense lol. *when arguing about your nephew got autism...

    September 15, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • McCluck

      just digging myself deeper.....you get the point

      September 15, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      Ah, McCluck. No, the sarcasm did not escape me. I just have little use for those who would rather make it a sarcastic issue than discuss the facts.
      I replied to you above, but in case you did not get it:
      If I am a)vaxing my children and b) informing what has happened to my nephew and many more like him how am I a) spreading lies, and b) harming your children?

      September 15, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      Well, affectedbythimerisol. You were not affected by thimerisol, or have no reason to believe that thimerisol is the culprit except anecdotal evidence. They found mercury in his brain. The mercury in thimerisol cannot pass the blood brain barrier. Your story could easily be explained by coincidence. You are simply contributing to the spread of misinformation about mercury being linked to autism or autism like symptoms with no evidence to back it up that I have seen (I am always willing to look at evidence, however, were you to provide it). I call this spreading misinformation or lying. Perhaps lying is arguably a bad term.

      You may not be the mainstream antivaxer, or even an antivaxer at all, but you use their arguments and pseudoscience. This is how you are hurting others. By contributing more, worthless, anecdotal evidence to the other (unjustified at this point in time) side and insisting for no reason that it was thimerisol in vaccines. Even if chelation therapy, which many consider to be quackery outside of treating lead poisoning, helped him to get back to normal, it does not follow that it was thimerisol or vaccines that cause it to begin with. What you say goes against the science as we know it. By giving worthless anecdote with a name like "affected by thimerisol" you help antivaxers and give the ignorant among us a reason not to vaccinate effecting herd immunization and therefore harming everyone, not just children.

      Bottom line. Anecdotal evidence is worthless, and the causes of a child’s autism symptoms are difficult to understand and fit to a cause and effect relationship. Scientists are still trying to do this. Parents will try anyway and blame it on anything that makes sense to them. This is why we have those scientific studies that many are so quick to dismiss. -Often because of a lack of understanding in what goes into these studies.

      Or maybe its just one huge conspiracy with everyone in the medical and scientific community involved.-Since that is so much simpler of an explanation.

      September 15, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      well, i have some work to do. I may not respond for a while to your probably-pending response to me. 🙂

      September 15, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      Okay, point taken about my name. Perhaps a better name choice would have been more beneficial. And no, I have no study to give you because they are not studying the right group of children, nor are they studying everything related to the vaccines. Again, I'm open minded enough admit there could be something else in the vaccines that is doing this to a large portion of the children that have been given the diagnosis of. My story is definitely not one of coincidence as we have seen time and time again what the shots have done to him. Keep in mind, my story is one of several thousand that have similar incidences, all different ages, etc. No, I don't have a study. But by getting the word out perhaps we can encourage someone, somewhere to perform a valid study. It's forums like this and being able to debate with people of intelligence that we can all learn from each other and take something away and be better for it. Your quote "By contributing more, worthless, anecdotal evidence to the other (unjustified at this point in time)" was unkind in that my evidence is certainly not worthless. Wouldn't you do the same for your child, assuming you have children? Really, you would just sit and do nothing when it's possible that something could be done? What about the studies that show the vaccines can and do cause encephalopathy (spelling is wrong, I'm sure) which can lead to autism or autism like illnesses? What is your suggestion on how parents of these children should handle it? Just take the news, treat their children, and keep qiet? How could we/they be more effective?

      September 15, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      good point. It would be hard to know what i would do as a parent and doing "nothing" would probably not be an option. It is just the case that anecdotal evidence isnt controlled even close to enouph to start drawing conclusions from. There is simply too many variables and it is too easy to be misled. In the case of autism, all of the antivaxers rely almost completely on anecdotal evidence. I completely respect your quest to do whatever you can. If i may ask, how did they test you nephews brain for mercury? I only ask because i was just reading about victims and lawsuits envolving chelation to cure autism. This is quite interesting and it makes me wonder if you are a victim of fraudulent practice. It is not uncommon to see improvement when you want to see improvement. I believe its called confirmation bias.

      It seems to me that you have read and are informed about the other side's arguments. Would you be willing to take the time to read the opposite end of the spectrum? If so go here. Read it with a skeptical eye if you wish. Good luck with your family.

      September 15, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck


      oops i forgot to attach. This is the breakdown of chelation and autism according to one of my favorite skeptics...

      September 15, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      I will take some time tomorrow and go and read this. Interesting. Looking back, I can't imagine that we were just wanting to see improvement so badly that we saw what we wanted to see, but anything is possible. We did not live in the same state and on our last visit before he began treatment he was non-verbal, violent, and many, many other things you would expect from someone with 'autism'. We visited some time later and were absolutely stunned at this talking, reading, writing boy who was a faaaaaar cry from what he was when we last saw him. To be honest, I do not know how they tested his brain for mercury. I am not as well informed as I would like to be, but I am trying to get there. Not to spread , spew, or trash anyone. Simply to just find out some answers for my nephew and so many others we have encountered. Thanks for the link and best wishes!

      September 15, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
  15. AZMom

    Ok, some of you are being really rude. At the end of the day I don't think you can "blanket vaccinate" all of America's children. Obviously some children have a genetic predisposition to autism and whether or not it is triggered by vaccinations has yet to be seen however, I think children should be tested first for any genetic predisposition and if it is found, and that parent chooses not to vaccinate that should be their choice.
    I don't think anyone can say that what is good for one child is good for all regardless of the study it is a parents right to choose what is best for their children and educate themselves the best they can. No one should criticize anyone for trying to do what is best for their kids. I guarantee there will be a lot more articles on both sides of the issue.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kim

      Yes, some people have been very rude and insulting. It's inappropriate and inexcusable. Please know that some of us recognize that many people are just concerned parents rightfully trying to figure out what happened to their child. I just hate to see those parents looking for an explanation in the wrong place.

      September 15, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      It's amazing how certain all these folks are that you can inject complex chemicals and agents into an infant with no risks. What do they base this certainty on? The authorities that mandate the vaccine schedule, make their money from the vaccines, regulate/benefit the vaccine makers. Of course these "authrorities" can be trusted to provide unbiased studies. Right!

      This is like asking defense contractors if the Iraq and Afghan wars are necessary and then dismissing the views of everyone who disagrees with them.

      If you're under 30, you have no collective memory of a time when these disorders effectively didn't exist.

      Today we're data-mining the school enrollments to find new children to add to the lists since it seems that since 2004 the numbers have anecdotally dropped dramatically in California. The authorities say differently but just open you eyes and look at the reduced class sizes in grades 3 and below and the reduced severity of those labeled with the disorder today. The military may be one exception since they run their own show independent of the state. Coincidentally, the only afflicted young children I've encountered lately were both military dependents.

      Compared to 20 yrs ago, it seems that diagnoses are given out freely in order to feed the huge autism spectrum services industry that developed in the late 90s in response to the wave of injured children appearing starting about 1990.

      June 8, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  16. SNCCLA

    Please explain how anyone is so certain vaccines do not cause Autism when the FDA has listed on the DTap insert that AUTISM IS A POSSIBLE ADVERSE REACTION?

    FDA DTaP insert lists AUTISM as vaccine side effect. But vaccines don't cause autism? http://ht.ly/2BSBE How can it be both?

    It took over 40 years to clear the air of TOBACCO SCIENCE which is what we are seeing with VACCINES – check the history books and you will see HEROIN, COCAINE and CIGARETTES (and lots more) being PRESCRIBED BY DOCTORS as TAUGHT IN MEDICAL SCHOOL.

    Try to stay emotionally unattached and examine the logic – recently 70 million doses of FLU VACCINE had to be disposed of as TOXIC WASTE due to MERCURY CONTENT. So if it gets from the vial into a needle and into you or your baby, it's good, but if it spills on the ground, you must EVACUATE AND CALL HAZMAT FOR TOXIC SPILL? How can toxic waste possibly be good for anyone? How can anyone blindly accept these studies that defy logic?

    September 15, 2010 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kim

      Thanks for the interesting link. What's really useful is the vaccine insert itself:

      Yes, they do mention autism as a side effect that occurred in a group of vaccinated people. They also say "Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequencies or to establish a causal relationship to components of Tripedia vaccine." In other words, there's no evidence that the vaccine -causes- autism. If even 1% of all children develop a particular condition — even those who have -not- been vaccinated — you're pretty much certain to get one case in a group of hundreds of children. That's not evidence for a cause.

      It's valid and important to be concerned about the causes of autism. But you're barking up the wrong tree with thimerosal.

      September 15, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      Great comparison to tobacco.

      If the tobacco companies funded studies to prove that smoking does not cause cancer, and directly hired the researchers to run the study, and hired scientists to interpret the results, and hired marketing firms to market the results of the study, and paid newspapers large sums of money for advertisements for their products (and we all know that most of the advertisements in the papers, the magazines, TV, and radio are for pharmaceutical products), would anyone listen to the tobacco companies if they announced that the results of those studies were "smoking does NOT cause cancer?"

      Of course not.

      Then why do we listen to the pharmaceutical companies, who have done EXACTLY that?

      Oh, right, because their marketing departments are so good, they make it look like it's all independent research.

      Follow the money trail–it's not, and any idiot can see it if they only look.

      September 15, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Just out of curiosity, taximom, have you ever watched the Penn and Teller show about the anti-vaccine crowd? You sound an awful lot like some of the people they interviewed.

      September 15, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      Nice move, Dana. We see this in court all the time. When the attorney wants to convince the jury, but there's a credible witness for the opposition, the first order of business is to discredit the witness WITHOUT dealing with what the witness is actually saying (because arguing with the truth can get you in trouble).

      Thanks for illustrating that so nicely.

      September 15, 2010 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Nice dodge, taxi dolt. Too bad you couldn't manage to actually answer, disprove, or dismantle my argument.

      Not surprising, though. You're a dumbbell. I didn't have any expectation you would be capable.

      September 17, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
    • jazz

      Taximom, you really are a laugh. It's obvious from your response to another poster that you actually have seen the Penn and Teller "Bulls*it" show on vaccines, and I'll bet you recognized yourself painfully.

      Good. It should hurt to be so ignorant.

      September 18, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  17. Julie Obradovic

    It is imperative to note that this study did NOT find that thimerosal is not associated with Autism. This study actually found that thimerosal is PROTECTIVE against Autism.

    "Increased cumulative exposures in the age ranges from birth to 7 months and birth to 20 months were both associated with decreased risks of all 3 ASD outcomes.....We are not aware of a biological mechanism that would lead to this result." Well, no kidding. There is no biological mechanism that would lead to this result!

    This is yet another study in a long line of studies sponsored by the government, medical and pharmaceutical industries (all of whom will be held ultimately accountable for this disaster) that reports injecting mercury into children is GOOD for them. A study from Denmark and a study from the United Kingdom have similar findings. In fact, in the UK study, the authors reported that higher exposure to thimerosal was associated with having a higher IQ.

    Unfortunately, this important and crucial difference in what is found by the researchers versus what gets reported leads parents and caregivers to believe that there is no effect of using thimerosal in vaccines, good or bad. Even more unfortunate, the media fails to read the study in detail to challenge them on their findings. One must ask, if mercury protects against Autism, why aren't we injecting more of it? Clearly, according to these studies, lowering it seems to be contributing to the epidemic!

    Any rational human being has to question these absurd results. Mercury is a neurotoxin. Injecting more of it into a child will not make them smarter, nor will it protect them from Autism, regardless of whether or not it causes it. The only reasonable conclusion to come to is that the studies are profoundly flawed, biased, and/or limited. Can anyone imagine the CDC publishing a study that says injecting lead into children in higher amounts results in lower amounts of learning disabilities? All credibility would be lost in an instant.

    It's deplorable that our children are suffering because we still give them any when it comes to Autism and finding out what causes it.

    Julie Obradovic
    Contributing Editor Age of Autism

    September 15, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • McCluck

      age of autism ::shudder::

      "Well, no kidding. There is no biological mechanism that would lead to this result!"

      Well, I guess you know all of the pathways possible and their incredibly deep interconnectedness. You could probably make allot more money in the medical field since you know more than they do.

      "Any rational human being has to question these absurd results. Mercury is a neurotoxin. Injecting more of it into a child will not make them smarter, nor will it protect them from Autism, regardless of whether or not it causes it."

      Well i suppose you dont believe in fancy pants science so this is pointless to say but the rates didnt decline relative to the population after thimerisol was removed from most vaccines. That must also be part of the conspiracy...

      September 15, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      It's interesting to think about the possibility that the government, medical community, and pharmaceutical industry are conspiring to hide the link between mercury and autism. Have you thought about how many thousands of people would have to go along with this scam? Low-level data entry people, secretaries in the offices, lab assistants, etc.? Why wouldn't there be at least one person who would blow the whistle? Out of all those people who'd have to go along, wouldn't there be one who had a child or sibling or cousin or someone that would make them realize it would be totally immoral to keep silent?

      Why is there no criticism for the doctor who was paid by a lawyer to produce "evidence" to help the lawyer win a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company? Why aren't people skeptical of that "research" even though all of the article's co-authors have withdrawn, the journal has retracted the paper and virtually everyone associated with it recognizes that it was wrong? What do you think of the "researcher" who was so unethical that he paid $8 each to kids at his son's birthday party for them to allow him to take a blood sample? How would you react if your child came home from a friend's birthday party with a band-aid on his or her arm, and told you that his friend's daddy had taken a blood sample?

      Be skeptical, be critical, be logical — aside from thimerosal, what other possible causes has your analysis ruled out?

      September 15, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  18. kim

    AffectedbyThimerosal wrote

    Keep in mind, my story is one of several thousand that have similar incidences, all different ages, etc. No, I don't have a study.

    Our brains tend to find patterns, even when they don't exist. That's why we need science, experimental studies, epidemiology, and statistics.

    Here's a "fact" that's well known by probably millions of people in the world: when a baby has dysentery, uncontrolled diarrhea and vomiting, it "obviously" means that their body has too much water in it and they need to expel the water. So of course the appropriate treatment is to withhold water — nothing to drink. Sometimes people do that and their child gets better. See — it works! But often when they do it, the baby dies. That "obviously" means they didn't withhold water soon enough, right? I hope it's clear that this is a tragically misguided interpretation of what's going on. But people are able to fit their observations to what they believe. The same with anecdotes — "I know someone who …" whatever. Sure. My uncle cured his brain cancer by smearing his head with mayonnaise. No. That's why we need properly designed studies and data analysis, not anecdotes.

    AffectedbyThimerosal wrote

    But by getting the word out perhaps we can encourage someone, somewhere to perform a valid study.

    But they already have done valid studies. How many of them have you read? No offense intended, but these studies can be pretty technical: are you adequately prepared to understand them? Or are you just going along with other people who say the study isn't valid?

    AffectedbyThimerosal wrote

    It's forums like this and being able to debate with people of intelligence that we can all learn from each other and take something away and be better for it.

    Yes. And I still haven't seen anyone respond to the following:

    1) Kids get vaccinated at around 18-24 months. Autism becomes evident at about that age or shortly after. How could there not be many cases where autism symptoms appear around the time of vaccination?

    2) What alternative hypothesis have you considered and eliminated, and on what basis have you eliminated them?

    3) If vaccinations cause autism, why is it that more than 99% of vaccinated children don't develop autism.

    These three are key points need to be addressed. But most important, of course, is that:

    4) Multiple studies by different researchers on different populations have failed to show a statistical link between vaccinations and autism.

    What's wrong with each one of these studies? It's too simplistic to say that hundreds or thousands of people have all bought in to a conspiracy of fraud and silence.

    AffectedbyThimerosal wrote

    What is your suggestion on how parents of these children should handle it? Just take the news, treat their children, and keep quiet? How could we/they be more effective?

    I think you're right to try to figure out what the cause is. That might lead to treatment for those who are already affective, and to ways of reducing future incidence of the condition. That is precisely why I've been arguing the point. I hate to see parents spending so much time, energy, and emotion on the wrong thing. You won't find the real causes and possible treatments until you get unstuck from the wrong one and consider other possibilities.

    I do think it's just basic, reasonable precaution for parents to space out the various vaccinations rather than giving them all at once. It probably doesn't matter either way, so if you can handle the extra inconvenience and expense, I can understand why a parent would do that.

    And I agree, some people are being inexcusably rude. They're not typical of people who don't believe thimerosal causes autism. They're just typical of people who enjoy the anonymity of being online and get twisted pleasure from being rude and insulting. I'm sure that some of them couldn't care less about vaccines and autistic children.

    By the way, you spelled encephalopathy correctly.

    Best wishes and good luck to all parents concerned for the well-being of their children. I wish you every possible success.

    September 15, 2010 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kim


      That might lead to treatment for those who are already affected, and to ways of reducing future incidence of the condition.

      September 15, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • AffectedbyThimerosal

      No worries on the spelling. This thing is so slow that I can barely keep my thoughts straight, much less spelling. : )

      I hear what you are saying and totally get it. I can't respond to everything because I have to go and pick up my child. However, can you point me in the direction of the studies they have done for all the children like my nephew, where it is obviously something in the vaccines and injections that are causing him to regress? Not that it was the main cause, but hasn't been ruled out either...kwim? If you have any insight into that or a place where I can find the study it would be most appreciated.

      September 15, 2010 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      Well said kim, I think i have a crush on you.-Mainly because you seem to be good at keeping your cool and getting your point across. I unfortunately may be one of those rude trolls from time to time and for that I apologize to you both. It is hard for me to keep my cool when I see people who seem to be lying and spamming the wall with nonsense, on purpose, to muddy the waters and promote alterative therapies that are unsafe and ineffective. There were definitely people on here today that seemed to be getting paid to promote propaganda and my attack on them may have become and attack on affectedbythimerosal. Kudos to you and to affectedbythimerosal for doing what you think is right. It is not my belief that affectedbythimerosal was doing anything but thirsting for knowledge in order to better deal with his situation. I’m going home!


      September 15, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      I believe http://www.fourteenstudies.org can explain how "independently researched" studies all claim to disprove a link between autism and vaccines when vaccines are really affecting so many children.

      September 15, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      If every study ever done anywhere failed to show any link between thimerosal and autism, you still wouldn't believe the truth.

      September 15, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  19. Dan

    Mitochondrial Mediated Thimerosal-Induced Apoptosis in a Human Neuroblastoma Cell Line (SK-N-SH)
    Michelle L. Humphreya, Marsha P. Coleb, James C. Pendergrassc and Kinsley K. Kininghama, ,
    aDepartment of Pharmacology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, 1542 Spring Valley Drive, Huntington, WV 25704-9388, USA
    bGraduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
    cAffinity Labeling Technologies, Inc., Lexington, KY 40508, USA
    Received 6 December 2004; accepted 25 February 2005. Available online 24 May 2005.
    Environmental exposure to mercurials continues to be a public health issue due to their deleterious effects on immune, renal and neurological function. Recently the safety of thimerosal, an ethyl mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines, has been questioned due to exposure of infants during immunization. Mercurials have been reported to cause apoptosis in cultured neurons; however, the signaling pathways resulting in cell death have not been well characterized. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify the mode of cell death in an in vitro model of thimerosal-induced neurotoxicity, and more specifically, to elucidate signaling pathways which might serve as pharmacological targets. Within 2 h of thimerosal exposure (5 μM) to the human neuroblastoma cell line, SK-N-SH, morphological changes, including membrane alterations and cell shrinkage, were observed. Cell viability, assessed by measurement of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in the medium, as well as the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, showed a time- and concentration-dependent decrease in cell survival upon thimerosal exposure. In cells treated for 24 h with thimerosal, fluorescence microscopy indicated cells undergoing both apoptosis and oncosis/necrosis. To identify the apoptotic pathway associated with thimerosal-mediated cell death, we first evaluated the mitochondrial cascade, as both inorganic and organic mercurials have been reported to accumulate in the organelle. Cytochrome c was shown to leak from the mitochondria, followed by caspase 9 cleavage within 8 h of treatment. In addition, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was cleaved to form a 85 kDa fragment following maximal caspase 3 activation at 24 h. Taken together these findings suggest deleterious effects on the cytoarchitecture by thimerosal and initiation of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
    Keywords: Mercury; Thimerosal; Mitochondria; Neurotoxicity

    September 15, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kim

      Dan, you realize that this study is on cell cultures in glassware in a laboratory ("in vitro"), right? And that the concentration of thimerosal is vastly higher than what a cell in a living body would ever be exposed to?

      Also, thimerosal kills microbes. That's why they put a tiny amount in vaccines — so that disease-causing microbes wouldn't grow in the vaccines and be injected in to children. Thimerosal is another name for merthiolate. When I was a kid, we used to use dilute solutions of merthiolate on cuts and such, to keep them from getting infected. Maybe it's still used for that, I don't know.

      Mitochondria are microbes that have evolved to live inside our cells. That happened very early in evolution. Probably one microbe "ate" another microbe as "food" but was not successful at digesting it; instead the microbe ended up living inside that cell. The mitochondria lost a lot of its own metabolism over time, and the host cells came to depend on the mitochondria for specific things (mostly involved in getting energy out of the food we eat). So, it's not surprising that mitochondria have responses to certain chemicals that are like the ways microbes respond to those chemicals. But that doesn't mean that mitochondria will respond that way to vastly lower concentrations of thimerosal in an intact organism.

      How do you explain the fact that 99% of the children given vaccine containing thimerosal did not develop autism?

      September 15, 2010 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
    • Taximom5

      Kim: first of all, in the study quoted here, it was only 75% of the kids who did not get autism.

      Secondly, if 1% of American children (or 1 in 28 Somali immigrants, take your pick) have something going on that makes them develop autism as a result of vaccines, why do you need to see it in the other 99% of American children before you believe it can happen?

      1% of Americans have celiac disease, too. They get extremely ill if they eat anything containing wheat, barley, rye, or oats. Do you think it can't be true, if the other 99% of Americans don't react the same way to wheat, barley, rye, or oats???

      September 15, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Taximom5 asked

      Kim: first of all, in the study quoted here, it was only 75% of the kids who did not get autism.

      No, sorry, you misunderstand. They had ~250 kids with autism, and then choose ~750 who didn't have autism but in other ways matched the group of kids with autism. Then they compared the vaccination history for those two groups. There was no difference. The comparison was detailed, not whether they were vaccinated but at what age, how much, etc.

      Secondly, if 1% of American children (or 1 in 28 Somali immigrants, take your pick) have something going on that makes them develop autism as a result of vaccines, why do you need to see it in the other 99% of American children before you believe it can happen?

      That's a good question. But you state as if it were established fact that 1% of the children "have something going on that makes them develop autism as a result of vaccines". It's not.

      What you've proposed is a more specific version of the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism. You're saying that it takes a combination of the specific vaccine regime used and particular genetic variations in the child to cause the development of autism. That's a reasonable hypothesis. However, multiple studies show that variations in the vaccine regime have no effect on whether or not children develop autism, nor the kind or degree of autism.

      One of the standard tests done to associate a causal factor with a specific pathology is the dose-response relationship. If something causes disease or injury, then a little bit of it should make you less sick, and a lot of it should make you more sick. No such relationship has been observed with autism.

      I agree that autism is a serious condition and serious effort and funds should be put into figuring out what causes it and trying to find treatments. It's clear, though, that vaccines are highly unlikely to be a factor.

      September 16, 2010 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
  20. Dan

    Thimerosal has not been exonerated yet. Google mitocondria thimerosal

    September 15, 2010 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. kim

    AffectedbyThimerosal asked

    can you point me in the direction of the studies they have done for all the children like my nephew, where it is obviously something in the vaccines and injections that are causing him to regress?

    I would suggest looking in the scientific research literature, seeing who is doing that kind of research, and contacting them. A scientific journal always lists institutional affiliations so, for example, if someone is in the Pediatrics department at Bigfamous University, you can go their website and find the person's email address. I'm sure that many people will be too busy to respond, but eventually you'll get somebody. Try to sound as calm and as well-informed as possible. Read as much as you can first to educate yourself as much as possible so you can ask better questions.

    Specific questions are more likely to get useful responses than general questions. Questions like "my kid got a shot and then he got sick, what happened?" won't get you anywhere. Note that I said useful "responses", not "answers." You're looking for something that very possibility isn't known yet. Sometimes the best we can do is rule out some possibilities, and get some idea of where it might be reasonable to look next.

    You can use Google to search for research articles on vaccines and autism. You might be surprised at how many articles there are that looked for a link but did not find one.

    I took a quick look. One of many interesting articles is this one:

    Autism and Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination: Controversy Laid to Rest?

    The abstract reads, in part –

    Epidemiological studies, however, have not found an association between MMR vaccination and autism. The epidemiological findings are consistent with current understanding of the pathogenesis of autism, which has a strong genetic component and in which the neurological defects probably occur early in embryonic development. It seems unlikely that a vaccination that is given after birth could cause autism. A minority of cases of autism may have onset after 1 year of age (regressive autism), but the single epidemiological study that included such cases did not find an association with MMR vaccination. [emphasis addedby kim] Currently, the weight of the available epidemiological and related evidence does not support a causal association between MMR vaccine, or any other vaccine or vaccine constituent, and autism.

    It might be helpful to read up on the methods of epidemiology, case-control vs cohort studies, etc., just to be conversant if you get to talk/correspond with researchers. I'm sure that there's a lot online. Also, it would be good to learn some of the vocabulary of neurobiology.

    You can find some interesting stuff about genetics here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim/209850. Like many traits, there are a lot of genes that might affect autism or susceptibility to autism. A lot of the molecular genetic methods have only become available in the last 10 years or even less, so that kind of work is still in the exploratory stages.

    I hope that some of this is useful to you.

    September 15, 2010 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Dana

    The fact that pharmaceutical companies make profits is irrelevant. Thimerosal has not been linked to autism and those who continue to imagine there's some secret deal between Gupta and pharma, or pharma and the FDA are simply engaging in nonsensical loopiness.

    Autism has been around since long before there were vaccines. The poster who attempted to make some point about there having been only one reported case occurring in the 1700s is typical of the anti-vax zealots. They take one data point and attempt to use it to prove what they believe. Doesn't work that way.

    Stop wasting time attempting to blame vaccines for autism and spend it looking for the real causes.

    September 15, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dio

    Read "Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine" if you can find it, that's all I have to say . . .

    September 15, 2010 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      All you have to say is bullshit, Dan.

      September 17, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
  24. Taximom5

    Vitamin D deficiency plus a genetic predisposition towards celiac disease set the stage for vaccine reaction. So saying "it's not the vaccines." For some kids–the ones who develop autism–it IS the vaccines, but the vaccines are the straw that breaks the camel's back.

    The scientists need to accept that THESE kids ARE reacting to vaccines, and they need to find out WHY, so that they can make the vaccines safer and the vaccine schedule more sensible (babies don't need Hep B vaccine at all unless they are at risk; breastfed babies don't need rotavirus vaccine, the flu shot's own package insert says "effectiveness not shown in pediatric populations, so they obviously don't need that one,etc.).

    Those of us who have watched our children disappear into autism within hours of vaccines have something that can't be discounted: EXPERIENCE. We have lived it. We're the ones who DID follow the recommended vaccine schedule, so it's ridiculous to call us "anti-vaxxers." That's like calling the parents of peanut-allergic kids, "Anti-peanuters."

    September 16, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      No, it is NOT the same. Parents of children who are allergic to a substance can ascertain the facts with medical tests that will prove that their children are, indeed, allergic to that substance. Parents like you, on the other hand, cannot make such claims concerning vaccines. You cannot prove that your child reacted to the vaccine, only that he/she exhibited a certain behavior at a certain time, and that behavior occurred at a time that HAPPENED to coincide with the administration of the vaccine. Your hypothesis is not testable or provable. Allergic reactions can be duplicated in a lab; your child's reactions cannot.

      September 18, 2010 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
  25. Leigh A. Wilcox

    I find it very interesting that CNN has not covered the big news about the Plling family being awarded $20 Million for the Autism caused by Hannah's vaccines. Why would that be CNN? Why not share news that vaccines CAN cause harm to certain children? That the vaccine court agrees? I'm disappointed.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kim

      A court room and a research laboratory are not the same thing. Conviction or acquittal does not establish scientific facts. I'm not familiar with the case you mention so I don't know how pertinent it is here.

      September 17, 2010 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Because it ISN'T BIG NEWS, doofus.

      September 17, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
  26. Nagla

    Amazing that CNN has not covered the story of the Polings and this historical award for vaccine damage done to their daughter. In 1983, children received 10 doses of vaccines by age 5, today babies start receiving vaccinations at day one in the hospital after the trauma of birth, they get 28 doses of vaccines by the time they are 2 years old, over 40 doses before they enter kindergarten. More and more vaccines are being added every year. No longterm safety studies have been done to study the effect of this increased vaccine schedule on these children's immune system and their health.
    Meanwhile autism, asthma, ADHD, juvenile diabetes, children's cancers are all on the rise. Where is the scientific data that shows this increased vaccine schedule is safe long term? Our children are the future, gambling on vaccine safety without any real science to support this increased vaccine schedule is unacceptable.

    September 17, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jessica

    "Chris (Voice of reason)

    I have a 10 month old, and I've given the little man every vaccine he was slated to get. My biggest peeve, my biggest worried, are those people who skip vaccines and present a real and present danger to the life of my child (even though he is vaccinated).

    So here is hoping your non-vaccinated kid dies from his infection before infecting my vaccinated kid. That way Darwinism wins out, and we start weeding out the idiots.

    September 14, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse | "

    To the douche-nozzle that left this wonderful comment (sarcasm) I think its hilarious that you have such little confidence in your beloved vaccines. If they actually worked then my (unvaccinated) child should be no threat to your (vaccinated) child.

    And to wish death on ANY child is disgusting, you're mother should be so proud.

    September 17, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Craig

      I try to stay away from these debates, I lost my wife and kid in a divorce over vaccines, she was against, and I was for, plus I wasn't about to let my kid die of polio or something else in the future, he never got vaccinated and if he dies from a disease, I will make sure she ends up in jail, along with everyone at that midlife clinic. I'm not some random fool that just picked a side, I'm a scientist, have a D.Sc, granted my specialty is particle physics but scientific rules apply to all fields. I researched for a year and found no proof that a link exists, and the medical community isn't faking anything, no big "conglomerate" exists (like the fda, dea, etc) with enough influence to botch every test. So almost every test is correct, you will not silence that many scientists, to many morals and ethics in play. I also don't think the opposition can afford a true research study, so corruption is on that side.

      We are targeting thimerosal in this thread, in use since the '30s.... We all seem to be fine. I will say it.. YES, Vaccines can cause bad side effects, just like any injection, it s a risk we all take, even when we are older, but nothing to say they cause Autism... I would follow the timeline and see when Autism spiked, which is when technology took off. Do you know how many microwaves are flying past your head right now? Your Cell, Wireless router, bluetooth, the neighbors stuff and so forth, so why not look at that.

      Here is my view, you can run, you can hide, but Dawin WILL find you and let you know you aren't allowed to swim in the gene pool. My view if your kid dies from a preventable vaccine or gets other kids sick, you should be held criminally responsible . NOW... if you can produce scientific evidence that shows a link to autism, i'm obligated and will listen. REAL research, not just someone with credentials, a real research test and make everything public, I will listen to hard scientific evidence.

      This reminds me of the upcoming comedy central marches Stewarts "Rally to restore sanity" on one side and colberts "March to keep fear alive" the latter fits everyone anti-vaccine

      September 18, 2010 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Craig's reply claims that because he perceives scientific consensus then there must not be any scientific dissenters. There are many. Craig and others simply choose to ignore them. Of course, people scientifically trained are free of any sort of emotional biases and responses. History is filled with scientists that have wrought untold horrors on humanity. How delusional?

      June 8, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
  28. Dana

    Love to see posts from the likes of taxidumdum and other dipshits here. They simply serve to prove the point that those who oppose vaccination are morons.

    Anyone of average or better intelligence who reads their posts would run, not walk, to the nearest clinic, if they could possibly be vaccinated against the ravages of stupidity evidenced in the posts of those like taximom.

    September 17, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dana

    By the way, anyone who reads Valerie's posts without laughing is either brain-dead or close to it.

    September 17, 2010 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JimCarey

    Trumaine is free........Trumaine is FREE......

    September 18, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Amy

    Vaccines can aggravate pre-exisiting disorders which lead to autism. The court awarded 1.5 million to the family of a 9- year old with autism because had she not had the shots, she probably wouldnt have austism. google hannah poling.

    September 18, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      Prove it. You have no idea whether she'd have autism or not. None.

      You want people to take your word and the word of other nuts, and disregard those who are actually educated in medicine, science and immunology. Forget it, lady. You don't have the chops. You don't have the credentials. You don't have the authority, and you don't have the integrity. You're a faceless, anonymous goof on the internet who thinks she knows something because she read some nonsense on the web. That's all you've got? Not good enough for me. I'll take the word of doctors, scientists, and others educated in medicine before I pay any mind to nuts like you.

      September 18, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
    • Marsha

      Thank yo Amy for your voice of reason. The many child victims numbers who are growing won't be ignored any longer because too many are awake. That denier that said you can't prove it is ridiculous. The proof is in the numbers & science is on the side of truth no matter how others try to spin it.

      The people who have been duped & those duping them cannot even prove vaccines have ever worked. But we have proved they don't.

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      September 20, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • SolidGaby

      Dana couldn't have said it better!!!

      October 9, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
  32. Marsha

    All the studies done by the foxes guarding the hen house don't mean a thing. Vaccines cause these neurological disorders we label autism & the people know it. And it's not just the mercury that's toxic either. There are many ingredients that are.

    Let's take aluminum & mercury which are just two of the toxins in most vaccines & see what happens in this experiment;


    September 20, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Marsha

    In case I can't get back here to check the comments & anyone tries to convince others the mercury in vaccines is not the same as in this experiment I want to say now that that's bunk. Mercury is mercury & it's all dangerous so please don't buy that bull.

    September 20, 2010 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Marsha

    Wow. That Dana is a sad case for a human being going off on all those here telling it like it is. You have my sympathy, Dana.

    September 20, 2010 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. SolidGaby

    People should take one or two biochemistry classes... I think it should be mandatory for everyone

    October 9, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ninja Grandma

    Many of you are probably too young to remember the flower generation, but perhaps we are now realizing the results of their "seed". Many in that generation used drugs such as marijuana and hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline to explore alternative states of consciousness. There is no simple explanation for autism. However, researchers know that genes play a role in autism. If you look at yourself in your genealogy mirror, do you see flowers?

    October 10, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • steve

      Get Real. Drugs and their abuse have always been with us. You could buy serious narcotics over the counter during our great-grandparents youth.

      June 8, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  37. Sane

    The only solution to this is to arrest any parent who refuses to vaccinate their child. Period. I'm so sick of this blizzard of pathetic and groundless paranoia and ignorance at the expense of our children. And I say "our," because the whacko's unvaccinated kids are increasingly passing on horrible diseases to infants whose parents are sane (i.e. they are not opposed to vaccinations) yet are too young to be vaccinated. I also think anyone whose child can be shown to have passed on an illness because they refused to vaccinate should be liable in civil damages to the parents of the child who got sick.

    October 11, 2010 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Green Tidings

    We know that mercury is toxic to humans. What about the other ingredients? We are injecting substances known to cross the blood-brain barrier that are toxic. Aluminum, phenol, formaldehyde, not to mention aborted human fetus cells as well as other animal embryo cells, MSG, antibiotics, and HUNDREDS of others. How to you explain the thousands of autism-spectrum disorders that suddenly came on immediately after being vaccinated (IOW, a healthy, engaged, speaking child who, within a day of receiving vaccinations, becomes withdrawn and stops talking)? What about the other "side effects" listed on the vaccines' websites like autoimmune diseases, skin problems, seizures, ADHD, etc.? It's not just autism. We are in a public health crisis, and must examine the neurotoxins that are being allowed, or forced, in our bloodstream.

    The public needs to band together and demand that vaccines are cleaned up. These ingredients are horrifying. Even if you are pro-vaccine, you should be against these toxic ingredients.

    As an aside, the unvaccinated children I know (I know about 70) get sick much, much less than the vaccinated ones. I just find that interesting, and would love to read information on that.

    January 6, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jennie

    As a mother of a child with Autism I am saddened by what I read here. I would like to start off by saying do not judge anything until you have lived it. I knew nothing about Autism 6 months ago other than what most people know that its a disorder that effects the brain. Once you live the life of Autism your entire life changes your entire view on the world changes. I never once thought about Autism ever effecting my life. It never crossed our minds that the things our son was doing was Autism not just cute odd little things he did. Once you have a child with autism you learn everything you can you read everything you can so you can better help and understand your child. For those of you whose families are not effected by autism feel blessed that you dont struggle everyday to learn who your child is but stop ridiculing the parents who are looking for just a little light of hope out of one of the most darkest places. After everything I have read and learned I cant say for sure that vaccinations caused my sons autism but if theres a small chance that its a possibility you better believe I'm gonna get to the bottom of it before they ever stick my son with another needle! And for the parents out there who are fighting for our children keep fighting we need to clean up the world WE are bringing them in to!!!!

    June 8, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. anonymous

    Yes, vaccines CAN cause autism, but you don't have to believe it if it makes you feel better.

    June 8, 2011 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
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