A recent survey on people’s attitude toward Autism reveals that a significant percentage of parents still believe that the disease is caused by vaccines taken during childhood. The survey was conducted by the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), with the results published on Oct. 4th 2008, in the Science Daily.
It is surprising that 24% of those surveyed still hold to this believe despite an earlier report on Autism Study, that linked development of Autism is to maternal antibodies. The study was carried out by UC Davis MIND Institute, and published in March 2008, in the Journal of Neuro Toxicology.
In the Autism Survey report, one in every four people is of the opinion that it is no longer safe to vaccinate children. This come at a time when one out of 150 children,is affected by Autism in the United States, according to report from Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is important to note that there are no scientific evidence linking Autism to Vaccines.
Of urgent concern is the rising cases of measles infections as only few people are having their children vaccinated. According to a recent report published in August by New York Times, cases of measles infection reached an all time high in the first six months of 2008 in this new era. Figures from other part of the world such as Italy, Britain, Israel, etc indicates that measles cases are rising at an alarming rate.
The 1998 controversial British study, which linked Vaccine to Autism, was the source of confusion and concern, although the study was retracted by the authors.
Results from the survey shows that of those surveyed, 43% were not sure whether Vaccine were linked to Autism, leaving only 38% who believe that there is no link between Autism and Vaccines. According to Professor Celeste Harvey, of Florida Technical Institute, part of the confusion on Autism come from the fact that there is no clear cause of Autism, leading people to draw their own conclusion.
According to scientist from the UC Davis MIND Institute, abnormal antibodies found in the maternal blood that join to fatal brain cell are likely to contribute to development of Autism.
Leading Immunologist Judy Van de Water and her colleague were able to isolate one form of antibody called Immunoglobulin G, also known as IgG from mother who have children with Autism and found that it bound in fetal brain tissue.
As a follow up to those findings, another behavioral scientist, Davis Amaral and his colleagues from UC Davis injected pregnant rhesus monkeys with human IgG from mothers with Autistic Children. The study gave surprising results as the offspring’s of the exposed monkey developed repetitive behavior.
As many groups, such as UC Davis MIND Institute and Florida Institute of technology (FIT), Continue Scientific research on Autism, there is hope that the cause and cure for Autism will be found.
Any information and report on Autism, presented to the general public should be scrutinized to avoid a repeat of the controversial 1998 British report scare. It is also important for concerned group to create autism awareness to the general public, to separate facts from myths.
Harvey, C. (2008, 0ctober 4). Parent Still Fear Autism Could be Linked to Vaccine.
Maugh, T. (2008, February 16). Report on Autism. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Los Angeles Times.