25 August 2011

Vaccines and Autism, again

I've long been interested in the link between vaccines and autism and if there is any at all. I've never for the first second believed that the MMR vaccine causes autism, but I have wondered loudly if the vaccine didn't make things worse for an already immuno-compromised kid. And this is what I read today in the NYTimes:

Many children injured by vaccination have an underlying immune or metabolic problem that is simply made apparent by vaccines.“In some metabolically vulnerable children, receiving vaccines may be the largely nonspecific ‘last straw’ that leads these children to reveal their underlying” problems, the report stated.

Hah! Vindication! The vaccine triggers the immune system, as it is supposed to, but that backfires in the case of immuno-compromised or metabolically vulnerable children, and the parent who didn't know there was a problem, all of a sudden sees it. The vaccine didn't cause the autism. It worsened the symptoms into visible range.

So what does this say to me? It's probably not a good idea to vaccinate a kid who you already know has autism. At least not until his or her immune system settles down and metabolic status has been determined. Does the kid have a metabolic disorder such as carnitine deficiency? How about Darvet's syndrome? Celiac Disease? Also, if autism runs in the family, it might be a good idea to wait and see if the new baby is neurotypical before doing vaccinations. Each family has to decide for themselves if the benefits outweigh the risks.