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Chapter 5

PSYC 190 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Autism Spectrum, Measles Vaccine, Rubella Vaccine

Course Code
PSYC 190
David Warner

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Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses
● 3 hypothesis
β—‹ Combo of MMR vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining
which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins
β—‹ Thimerosal is toxic to central nervous system
β—‹ Simultaneously adding multiple vaccines overwhelms the immune system
● More diagnosis of measles β†’ increased awareness
● Feb 28th 1998: Andrew Wakefield published paper in The Lancet that described
8 children whose first symptoms of autism appeared 1 mon after receiving MMR
β—‹ Gastrointestinal symptoms
β—‹ Lymphoid nodular hyperplasia
β—‹ MMR vaccine caused intestinal inflammation
● Problems
β—‹ Did not include control subjects
● 50,000 British children per month received MMR vaccine between 1 and 2 years
β—‹ Coincidences are inevitable
β—‹ ~ 25 children per month would receive a diagnosis of the disorder by
chance alone
β—‹ Did not predate autism in several children
β—‹ Gastrointestinal symptoms did not predate autism in several children
β—‹ Measles, mumps or rubella vaccine viruses have not been found to cause
chronic intestinal inflammation
● Measles vaccine virus genome was not detected more commonly in children with
or without autism
● Encephalopathic peptides that travel to the brain have never been identified
● Genes have been associated with autism spectrum disorder have been found to
code for endogenous proteins that influence neuronal synapse function
● Large scale vaccinated programs allowed for excellent descriptive and
observational studies
Ecological studies
● U.K. evaluated 498 autistic children born from 1979 through 1992 who were
identified by computerized health records from 8 health districts
β—‹ Trend towards increasing autism diagnosis
β—‹ No change in rates of autism diagnoses after 1987 after introducing MMR
β—‹ MMR vaccination rates of autistic children were similar to that of entire
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