Definition: Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. In recent times all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Symptoms and Treatment: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. However, symptoms and their severity vary widely across these three core areas. Taken together, they may result in relatively mild challenges for someone on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. Each child or adult with autism is unique so, each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address specific needs. Intervention can involve behavioral treatments, medicines or both. Many persons with autism have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance, seizures and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Addressing these conditions can improve attention, learning and related behaviors.
Statistics: In Israel statistics of Autism were given as in 2004, the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) evaluated evidence regarding the hypothesized causal association between TCVs and autism. The committee concluded that evidence favored a rejection of this hypothesis. Despite research findings, various groups continue to advocate against vaccination with TCVs. The current review focuses on epidemiologic studies published between 2003 and 2008 in which researchers assessed the association between thimerosal and autism. In addition, recent research on the pharmacokinetics of thimerosal-derived ethylmercury is reviewed.