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Autism

1965
Bernard Rimland (1928-2006), psychologist, founded “The Autism Society of America.” In 1964 he had authored “Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior.” In 1967 he started what came to be called the Autism Research Institute in San Diego.
Links: USA, California, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998
Research led by Dr Andrew Wakefield, then a reader in experimental gastroenterology at London's Royal Free Hospital, became the first to suggest that the MMR vaccine might be linked to an increased risk of autism and bowel disorders. Dr Wakefield said he has evidence that children's behavior changed drastically shortly after they received the MMR jab. He said: "This is a genuinely new syndrome and urgent further research is needed to determine whether MMR may give rise to this complication in a small number of people." Dr Wakefield theorized that the combination of the three virus strains contained in MMR may overload the body's immune system and cause the bowel disorder to develop. The British journal Lancet published a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that linked the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine to autism. The Lancet later issued a full retraction. The research was later widely discredited and a report in 2011 said Wakefield and colleagues had altered facts about patients.
Links: Britain, Medical, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Feb
A major statistical analysis published on the British Medical Journal website concluded that the soaring rate of autism in recent years is almost certainly not due to the MMR injection. The study found that the number of cases of autism has continued to rise even though MMR coverage has remained roughly the same. If MMR was the cause of illness, said the experts, the number of autism diagnoses would also have leveled off by now.
Links: Medical, Pharma, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Feb
Dr Wakefield and Professor O'Leary published a paper in the journal Molecular Pathology which suggested a possible link between the measles virus and bowel disease in children with developmental disorders. The study set out to investigate whether children with developmental disorders such as autism and a bowel disorder also had the measles virus in their gut. It found traces of the virus in the guts of 75 children out of 91 with bowel disease, but in only five out of 70 healthy children. The researchers theorized that the virus may act as a trigger, leading to problems with the immune system. Dr Wakefield said most of the children in the study had had MMR, though a few had had the single vaccine. He and his colleague emphasized that it would be wrong to jump to any hasty conclusions about MMR causing either bowel disease or developmental disorders such as autism. In 2010 Dr. Wakefield was banned from practicing medicine in Britain.
Links: Microbiology, Medical, Pharma, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Feb
A team from the Royal Free Hospital - where Dr Wakefield carried out his initial research - published a study on the British Medical Journal website saying there is no link between MMR and autism. The team looked at almost 500 children with autism born between 1979 and 1998. It found the proportion of children with developmental regression (autism) or bowel disorders did not change significantly over that time.
Links: Medical, Pharma, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2002 Oct 22
It was reported that a gene was identified that related to attention-deficit disorders and that it was located in a region of the human genome identified with autism.
Links: Medical, Biology, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Feb 8
It was reported that a 1991 memo from Merck showed that senior executives were concerned that the vaccines of an expanded immunization program contained an elevated dose of mercury by as much as 87 times the maximum guidelines for daily consumption of mercury from fish. Thimersol, an anti-bacterial compound in the vaccine, was nearly 50% ethyl mercury, a neurotoxin. The vaccine program was later tied to elevated cases of autism.
Links: Pharma, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Feb 21
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign to make doctors and parents aware of the need of early diagnosis for autism. Children can be diagnosed as early as 18 months old.
Links: Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 16
It was reported that a Texas study found a correlation between the amount of mercury pollution and the number of autism cases.
Links: Autism, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 May 4
A US government study said some 300,000 US children have been diagnosed with autism.
Links: USA, Autism, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Oct
Prof. Michael Waldman, a Cornell Univ. economist, authored a paper which suggested that early childhood TV viewing might trigger autism.
Links: USA, New York, TV, Autism, Economics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2008
Dr. Paul A. Offit authored “autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure.”
Links: Medical, Autism, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2010 Mar 12
The US government’s “vaccine court” ruled in 3 separate cases that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosol does not cause autism.
Links: Medical, Pharma, Autism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2014 Jul 1
In southern California the parents of a severely autistic boy were arrested after investigators determined the 11-year-old had been kept in a large metal cage, possibly to control his violent outbursts.
Links: USA, California, Autism, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 



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