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Researchers Link Gene To Seizures In Children After MMR Vaccine

Update Date: Oct 27, 2014 07:13 PM EDT

Researchers have found genetic clues to explain why a small number of children have febrile seizures - brief convulsions - after receiving the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to a new study. 

The study noted that there was no need to scrap the MMR vaccine - caught in a health scare 1998 that watchdogs later declared groundless. It instead described its use as a "great achievement" in saving lives. 

According to study, febrile seizures occurred in roughly one in every 1,000 children who were given MMR vaccination. 

The study found additional four variants that linked to febrile seizures in general, and had no connection with the MMR vaccine. 

Children who had the highest tally of the four variants were almost four times likelier to have febrile seizures than counterparts with the least number, the press release added.

However, the study did not make it clear if children who had seizures did so as a result of getting a triple immunization as opposed to getting single shots to protect against the three diseases. 

"The MMR vaccine is a great public health success, estimated to prevent the death of more than one million children worldwide per year," said lead scientist Bjarke Feenstra at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen. 

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics. 

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