Vaccination as a cause of autism-myths and controversies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite significant progress in the study of the epidemiology and genetics of autism, the etiology and pathophysiology of this condition is far from being elucidated and no curative treatment currently exists. Although solid scientific research continues, in an attempt to find explanations and solutions, a number of nonscientific and pure myths about autism have emerged. Myths that vaccines or mercury are associated with autism have been amplified by misguided scientists; frustrated, but effective parent groups; and politicians. Preventing the protection provided by vaccination or administration of mercury-chelating agents may cause real damage to autistic individuals and to innocent bystanders who as a result may be exposed to resurgent diseases that had already been "extinguished." That such myths flourish is a consequence of the authority of scientific evidence obtained by scientific methodology losing ground to alternative truths and alternative science. This article presents a narrative of the origin of the myths around autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Mercury
  • Myth
  • Science
  • Vaccine


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