Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Do childhood vaccinations cause autism, and could a vaccine 'activate' a mitochondrial disorder -- as was argued in the government vaccine lawsuit?
Answer: I think I can be completely reassuring: vaccines do not cause autism. I know this question has been very much on the minds of many parents. But there are now, at last count, 16 studies that have addressed this question. Different investigators and different populations have all come to the same reassuring conclusion: vaccines are not causally associated with autism. And I'm personally very reassured about that -- my children are completely vaccinated.
Most recently, there's been this issue of mitochondrial disorders and whether the vaccines could have an adverse impact on any children with those. And there's not such a single case in the medical literature.
There's been that court case, the records of which have not yet been released so we need to look at those. Further research is going on in this area, but what is clear, say all the mitochondrial disease experts, mitochondrial disease can be adversely affected by illnesses and those illnesses should be prevented by vaccines.
So, the vaccines offer prevention. It's the illnesses really that can trigger adverse effects in children with mitochondrial disorders.