|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study
One of the 20th centuries greatest health victories was the elimination of childhood diseases through universal vaccination programs. However, as these diseases have been eliminated, the public tends to forget their value, and the universal nature of the vaccine programs means that parents of healthy children who later become sick with poorly understood diseases may see the vaccines (with the encouragement of avaricious trial lawyers) as culprits for their children's illnesses.
The most recent case in point has been the longstanding accusation that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism, a childhood neurological disease which is poorly understood. Numerous studies have debunked the purported link, but have not tamped suspicion of the vaccine; as a result, vaccine coverage among children continues to fall off. Hopefully, this latest study will finally dispel the junk science surrounding the MMR vaccine; the authors note that "our findings suggest that MMR vaccination is not associated with an increased risk of pervasive developmental disorders." Until this myth is laid to rest, parents will continue to withhold critical vaccinations from their children, exposing them to real risks, as opposed to imaginary ones.
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