Monday, January 26, 2009
A study from Italy may reassure parents about a preservative once used in vaccines their children received.
The study found that children given higher and lower levels of thimerosal (thih-MEHR'-uh-sawl) with their whooping cough vaccines had only small differences in brain function a decade later. Researchers found small variations in only two of 24 measurements, and say those "might be attributable to chance."
Critics have linked thimerosal to autism, but the only autism case that appeared in the study involved the lower amount of the mercury-based preservative. The study is the latest in a number to dispute a connection between thimerosal and autism.
Thimerosal has not been used in childhood vaccines in the US since 2001, except for certain flu shots.