The controversy regarding the link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism hit a major turning point. A special U.S vaccine court ruled against the possibility of a link between the vaccine and its ability to cause autism in children in three separate cases.
Over time, many families have criticized the vaccine, and more specifically, the preservative thimerosol that it contains. However, no criticism is unfounded but rather unproven. Therefore, many parents, professionals and friends of autism have united for against the preservative, due to its mercury content.
Special Master Denise Vowell, from the Dwyer case, stated the following in her ruling:
“Petitioners propose effects from mercury … that do not resemble mercury’s known effects on the brain, either behaviorally or at the cellular level. To prevail, they must show that the exquisitely small amounts of mercury in TCVs [thimerosal-containing vaccines] that reach the brain can produce devastating effects that far larger amounts experienced prenatally or postnatally from other sources do not.”
Vowell continued on to say, “In an effort to render irrelevant the numerous epidemiological studies of ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] and TCVs that show no connection between the two, they contend that their children have a form of ASD involving regression that differs from all other forms biologically and behaviorally. World-class experts in the field testified that the distinctions they drew between forms of ASD were artificial, and that they had never heard of the “clearly regressive” form of autism about which petitioners’ epidemiologist testified.”
Vowell also explained, what she believes to be, the real potential of thimerosol on the brain,
“Finally, the causal mechanism petitioners proposed would produce, not ASD, but neuronal death, and eventually patient death as well. The witnesses setting forth this improbable sequence of cause and effect were outclassed in every respect by the impressive assembly of true experts in their respective fields who testified on behalf of respondent.”