Study Shows Possible Link Between Vaccination and Childhood Epilepsy
Unless they’re stoned, drunk or have some mental health problem, most parents want their children to be healthy and active.
The question of “to vaccinate or not” pits many parents between wanting what’s best and the latest scientific inquiry.
Especially trying are the “urban myths” that tend to circulate online. Ten years ago there was a legend circulating in America that the vaccine-autism link was wreaking havoc.
As a result, thimerosal was excised from vaccines globally before there was any proof of noticeable impact on the occurrence of autism. Nevertheless, a connection between vaccines and autism became entrenched in the public consciousness.
Arthur Caplan, a Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania wrote about how anti-vaccine advocates impacted public health — and not necessarily for the better.
New Concern About Vaccines
Now coming into question is the connection between epilepsy and vaccinations. The rate of epilepsy among kids and the elderly has skyrocketed. One-in-twenty children, under five, suffer seizures in America as more and more parents claim that vaccines triggered the seizure disorders. The government holds the position that although vaccines may trigger febrile seizures, the many cases which begin following infant vaccination are coincidental.
With over 40 different types of seizures, epilepsy can look different from one patient to another. Some involve convulsions, and others include tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures. Others don’t link to apparent attacks. As there are different types of seizures, epilepsy may be caused by various factors.
Some forms are genetic and can be passed between generations. Sometimes epilepsy results from a pre-birth event or complications during birth. Where there is a higher incident rate of epilepsy in kids with autism disorders, scientists still don’t know why.
The CDC admits that vaccines increase the rates of febrile seizures — seizures triggered by high fever — bur is also quick to dismiss the connection between the increasing rate of seizures in younger children. Despite the CDC’s stance, many parents are reporting that their child’s seizures began post-vaccination.
Scientists have recently started to recognize the rate of seizure conditions follow vaccinations; however, some say these kids would have developed epilepsy anyway, and the vaccines were a trigger event.
One study in the Lancet found children with Dravet syndrome, a neurological disorder, had their first seizure within 24-hours of vaccination. The researchers allege that despite more kids with Dravet syndrome developed immediate seizures following vaccination; it didn’t affect their eventual outcomes.
What to Do
If a parent believes their child developed epilepsy because of vaccination, they should report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program allows for medical costs to be compensated for parents who can prove their children were adversely affected by vaccinations. Parents must provide medical documentation of the injury and pay a $400 fee to apply. The parents must file within three years following the initial symptom or within two years of death.
There are still many questions about what is creating the boost in childhood epilepsy rates