Vaccines not to blame for autism: Researchers

Amelia Mulcahy, 7News Adelaide

Vaccines not to blame for autism: Researchers

An international expert has told a conference in Adelaide groundbreaking research shows vaccinations are not to blame for autism.

Researchers believe they have made a breakthrough, for the first time identifying a genetic signature of autism in babies.

“Genes that may one day serve to be a very useful signature for detecting autism at young ages,” autism researcher Professor Eric Courchesne said.

He said these genes are active mid-way through pregnancy - findings which slam theories that vaccinations at a young age cause autism.

“We’ve found abnormalities of brain cells that point directly to the second and third trimesters, not to the second and third years of life,” Prof Courchesne.

It is hoped the genetic signature will also help tailor treatments for kids with autism, treatments that can be delivered sooner, because currently, the average age of diagnosis is four.

“The impact is going to be improved IQ, improved language, improved social skills,” Prof Courcshesne.

Researchers say a simple blood test could be available within two years.