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December 1996

Measles Vaccination Has Had No Effect on the Occurrence of Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson, MS 39216

Arch Neurol. 1996;53(12):1216. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550120018007

In the 1960s a belief no longer current suggested that measles might be a cause of multiple sclerosis (MS).1,2

After measles vaccination began in the United States in 1963 the incidence and prevalence of measles dropped precipitously, with a decrease in the incidence rate from 200 per 100 000 in 1963 to 10 in 1967 and a decrease in measles deaths from 700 in 1963 to 25 in 1968.3 Has MS decreased as a result? Since the median age of onset of MS in our clinic is 28 to 30 years, now would be a useful time to study the birth dates of our patient group with MS. Over a 34-month period (April 1992-February 1995) 198 consecutive individuals seen by one of us (R.D.C.) at the University of Mississippi Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, Jackson, were questioned about date of birth and history of measles and measles vaccination. Verification of

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