Autism and Mercury Toxicity ...
  ..........................a  research paper provides a clue !

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A  patient  brought me  an interesting paper to read about mercury and  Autism. It was published in the   International Journal of Toxicology, 22:277-85, 2003

I was so fascinated  by it that I decided to share it.  It's a  different twist on the  long-brewing debate over autism and mercury, and it helps to  explain  why it  has been such a confusing   topic with "answers" so hard to  find.

Many people have long  thought there   was a link between autism and  mercury but finding a  strong  link and / or mechanism has  been frustrating.  Often there have been attempts to relate and quantify mercury  toxicity (amount of mercury)  with  symptoms of  autism.  It didn't seem to work out. That is, a clear  relationship was hard to find.

As background you should know that infants and young  children that are not autistic, normally and commonly exhibit a degree of  mercury contamination that is DIRECTLY RELATED to the NUMBER OF  MERCURY-AMALGAM FILLINGS IN THEIR MOTHER'S MOUTH.  The more amalgams Mom has, the higher the mercury in the infant.  Mom's blood and breast-milk carry mercury to the baby.  The more she has, the more baby gets.  Whether this is viewed as good, bad, or insignificant,  it's a fact to be kept in mind  for this article.

Another source of mercury   for children is the mercurial preservatives that have  been used in vaccinations for many years ( and is to some degree being  phase down and hopefully, out). A third major source of mercury is  diet, especially  fish.

That having been said, one   could expect hair analysis of infants to show a range of  mercury levels that varies but  in its varying, still shows relationship to the  number of amalgam fillings in Mom's teeth, vaccinations, and presence or absence of fish diet.

Not surprisingly then, among normal, healthy - non-autistic - children, that is exactly what   researchers have found.....  But what do you suppose  they found when they tested AUTISTIC children?     And I mean specifically,   autistic children with mothers that had lots of  amalgams and often autistic children that had all the vaccinations and perhaps fish, too !  Well, surprise, surprise !! They found essentially NO MERCURY !!! Yes, you  read correctly, NO mercury.  What does that mean?

Well, since we know that normally the body at least to some extent  gets rid of mercury in many ways, one of which is   to get excrete it in  growing hair, ...and we  know the levels of mercury "gotten rid of" can be measured in the hair analysis, ....and we know these autistic   children  were exposed to levels of mercury that normally  shows up and   relates in amount to the  three factors mentioned above (Mom's amalgams, vaccinations, fish), ...only one conclusion seemed possible to the researchers.

They concluded that the autistic children somehow lacked the ability to get rid of the mercury in their bodies !!!   Either they lacked the mechanism to get rid of it, or their bodies somehow "held" or bound the mercury  so  tightly  that the normal mechanisms  to get rid of it couldn't work !

That strongly suggests that autistic children, unable to detoxify their mercury, build up higher body tissue levels of mercury than the  non-autistic children population.  The higher tissue levels of mercury toxicity may then result in neurological changes  seen as symptoms of autism.

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The following are direct quotes from the research paper:

....This suggests that   normal children have the ability  to defend themselves against potentially toxic exposures [of mercury] and may demonstrate little negative effect despite exposures that were relatively large.  By contrast, autistic infants who experience comparable exposure to mercury were completely incapable of excreting mercury through hair at levels that might have been predicted based on  the excretion patterns of the   control [non-autistic, "normal"] infants.

....if reduced mercury elimination is related to  hair elimination [mercury found in growing hair], then autistic children will retain significantly higher levels of mercury in  tissue, including the brain, than normal infants.

 

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An additional issue related to learning disorders in children, but not so often discussed, is children's Grief and Loss .  My wife is an author of several books on the topic and lectures widely to graduate students and educators at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University in Washington DC, King's College in Ontario, Canada, and elsewhere.  To learn more, see her website which contains a lot of helpful information and resources: www.childrensgrief.net

 

 

I  hope this information has been helpful to you. If so, let me know.
That will encourage me to continue this educational effort . Sincerely,
                                                                                               Dr. Goldman

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