Search This Blog

Monday, April 26, 2010

Autism and Abortion

Pro-life advocates have pointed to a recent study of "changepoints" in autism trends to point the finger at vaccines containing fetal cells. One of the authors of the study has a different view:
The statements made on the website incorrectly represent, and far overreach, our study findings. Our study draws no causal linkages with anything and the recent increase in autistic disorder, and certainly not to the use of fetal tissues in vaccines. Our research serves as a screening tool to direct future research to a potentially more productive time frame for additional study. Without additional screening approaches there are potentially a huge number of possible exogenous factors and explanations that could be associated with autism. The data we used suggest that the timing would be similar in Denmark and in California (the Japanese data may be earlier in occurrence, but we were not able to determine a change point from the study we used), suggesting that something similar may have been occurring in at least developed countries at this time. Autistic disorder increased in California and Denmark beyond the time frame of our study, but at different rates. If we assume a dose response relationship, then exposure to whatever exogenous factor or
factors, that might be associated with AD, would have had to increase in parallel to the AD levels in different places. But, the levels of exposure may have been different. However, in no case is a correlation with any of these things, including with the timing of the change point, with some other occurrence any indication of causation.