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Mercury levels are the same in autistic and other children

Blood levels of mercury similar in children with autism and other
Blood levels of mercury similar in children with autism and other

A United States study shows that the mercury content in the blood of children with autism is similar to that of other children.

However, this research does not rule out that heavy metals are contributing to this pathology, since the study was done after the diagnosis.

"We examined the blood levels of mercury in children with autism and those who do not suffer and we found virtually no difference in the two groups," said Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, lead author of the study, professor of environmental health University of California at Davis (Western).

"However, she added, this analysis does not address the possible role of mercury in autism since the blood level of this metal in the research subjects was measured after the diagnosis had been set".

Other studies have shown that mercury can affect the nervous system developing.

The research published in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives", represents the closest scrutiny to date of the blood level of mercury in autistic children.

The study was conducted as part of extensive research on autism conducted in Northern California called CHARGE (California-based Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment).

The research examines a variety of sources of mercury in the environment, including fish consumption, the use of nasal sprays or products to remove plugs of ear wax and certain types of vaccine that can contain this metal.

The study also examined whether the children had dental amalgams containing mercury and if they were chewing gum. Children in this category actually had a blood mercury level a little higher.

The research focused on 452 children of which 249 had been diagnosed as autistic, 143 did not have this disease and 60 with developmental delays or Down syndrome.

"Because autism is complex and has many variations, it is very likely that its causes are equally complex," notes Irva Hertz-Picciotto, adding that it was time to abandon the idea that a single cause can explain why so many children are suffering from this disease.

"So far, indications suggest that we can not explain autism without taking into account genetic and environmental factors," she added.


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