Washington, February 5 : A study has disproved that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination may lead to the development of autism.
The findings are based on a community sample of almost 250 children aged between 10 and 12, born from a population of 57 000, born between 1990 and 1991 in one area of Southern England.
Ninety-eight children among the subjects had an autism spectrum disorder.
The study sample was divided into two comparison groups-52children with special educational needs, but not evidence of autism spectrum disorders, and 90 children who were developing normally.
Some children with autism had experienced a setback or regression early in their development.
Although all the children had been vaccinated against MMR, each one of them had not been given both doses.
The researchers tested blood samples of the subjects for the presence of persistent measles infection, or an abnormal immune response, indicated by circulating measles virus or increased antibody levels.
They found that there was no difference in circulating measles virus or antibody levels between the two groups of children.
According to them, the finding remained unaffected by the fact that all the children had not received both MMR doses, and that some of them had experienced regression.
The researchers did not even find any evidence of bowel symptoms (enterocolitis) among the autistic children, irrespective of whether or not they had regression.
MMR has been linked to the development of autism since 1998, when research on 12 children suggested the risk.
The authors of the current study, published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, claim that theirs is the third and largest study that has failed to show a link between the MMR jab and autism.