Fake Autism Study
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One of the most prominent topics in health and medicine in the last decade has been the rising incidence of autism among children in the United States. In an effort to identify the cause of this increase, researchers turned their focus on the potential role of childhood vaccines. Investigations into the connection between childhood vaccines and autism pointed to thimerosol as the cause. Thimerosal is a preservative that has been in used in childhood vaccines for more than 50 years however it came under suspicion as the cause of autism because of its mercury content and the possibility of mercury poisoning. A groundbreaking study on 1998 by a British researcher established a link between childhood vaccines and autism, which in turn, led to a movement against the use of such vaccines. Interestingly, the number of children diagnosed with autism continued to rise as the number of vaccines administered declined.
A recent investigation of the data used in that study revealed that the information had been altered to support the conclusion that childhood vaccines were the cause of autism. There is little question that something has caused the incidence of autism to increase from 1 in every 2,500 children in the 1980s to 1 in every 300 children today. The discovery that fake autism studies might exist however represents devastating implications for the prospect of identifying the real cause.