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The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Is Not Associated with the Development of Autism with Gastrointestinal Problems

needleResearchers* claim to have finally ruled out that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine contributes to the development of Autism in children with secondary gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Hornig et al. detail how a study in 1998 found GI abnormalities in children with Autism combined with parental reports of child behavioral problems following the MMR vaccine led to public fears that this vaccine might cause Autism. However, the next 20 studies could not duplicate this finding. The current investigation set out to exam the relationship of the MMR vaccines specific to children with Autism and GI issues, which surprisingly had not been done. Check the end of this report for a link to download this freely available open access article.

Scientists previously hypothesized that the measles virus in the MMA vaccine induced GI inflammation which then placed the child at risk to certain neuroactive chemicals that could lead to the development of Autism. The authors in the current study note that for this model to be plausible, MMA vaccine administration should precede GI inflammation, and GI inflammation should occur prior to the onset of Autistic behaviors.

In a blinded, aged-matched case-control study, 25 children (23 males, 2 female, ages 3-10) with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances (experimental group) where compared to 13 children (9 male, 4 female, ages 3-10) with GI disturbances only (control group). All children underwent a a detailed clinical history and ileocolonoscopy. Three different laboratories who were blinded to condition evaluated the children’s lleal and cecal tissues for the presence of the measles virus RNA.

Simply stated, the researchers found no temporal relationship between the MMR vaccine, GI disturbances, and the onset of Austin. An interesting finding is that Autism with GI disturbance was associated with increased language regression. The authors summarized the results and implications of their research as,

“The work reported here eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] with GI complaints is related to MMR exposure. We found no relationship between the timing of MMR and the onset of either GI complaints or autism. We also could not confirm previous work linking the presence of MV [measles virus] RNA in GI tract to ASD with GI complaints. The origin, nature, and frequency of GI disturbances within the larger ASD population remain unclear; focused research strategies are required to define these endophenotypes and determine their significance for causal hypotheses” (pg. 5).

Additionally, these results are consistent with Roulette Smith’s autovirulent/viral theory of Autism reviewed elsewhere on this website. In fact, Dr. Smith’s important theory predicted that the MMA vaccine was not related to Autism.

This open access article is available for download here.


*Hornig, M., Briese, T, Buie, T., Bauman, M., Lauwers, G., Siemetzki, U., Hummel, K., Rota, P., Bellini, W., O’Leary, J., Sheils, O., Alden, E., Pickering., L., & Lipkin, W. (2008). Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study. PLOS One, 3(9). Download available here.

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