Scientists Find Link Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Meningitis

Scientists have found a link between people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and meningitis, a disease that occurs when viruses infiltrate the brain. The study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to find a link between vaccination and the disorder and may help doctors explain autism’s high rates in children.

Scientists at Simon Fraser University in Canada wrote that Meningitis B, a virus that can cause meningitis and pneumonia in susceptible children, can spread when immune-deficient and immuno-compromised babies are vaccinated with the meningitis vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the meningitis B vaccine in age-appropriate intervals from age 6 months to 4 years, and in over 1.2 million doses of vaccinations. While many infants, such as infants born between 30 and 35 weeks gestation, receive the shot, about 60 percent of children 6 months to 17 months do not. The lead author, Dr. James Hart, has connections to the anti-vaccine movement.

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