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Offline mannasugar

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autism
« on: 24/10/2005 19:49:59 »
is mercury the cause of autism

D.J.


 

Offline Simmer

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Re: autism
« Reply #1 on: 24/10/2005 20:11:51 »
From what I've read nobody knows what causes autism. AIUI the suspicion that mercury might be a factor came about because of the similarity between some of the symptoms of autism and those of mercury poisoning.
 

Offline i_have_no_idea

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Re: autism
« Reply #2 on: 25/10/2005 00:30:16 »
Does this mean if I am to eat mercury I would become autistic?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: autism
« Reply #3 on: 25/10/2005 17:21:11 »
Autism seems to have a basis in genetic malformation. There are certain genes which, if they happen to mutate, can give rise to various sysmptoms on the autism spectrum. I think I'm right in saying that no research has found any other consistent cause of autism.
The evidence for mercury being a factor is somewhat circumstantial & allegorical and the vast majority of research leads to the belief that it is not relevant.
 

Dr. Praetoria

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Re: autism
« Reply #4 on: 25/10/2005 21:54:48 »
I believe there was some concern for children and the use of mercury compounds in vaccinations.
Doc
 

Offline Simmer

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Re: autism
« Reply #5 on: 25/10/2005 23:18:21 »
But also a genetic component in at least some cases, as it seems to run in families.  Possibly a combination of a genetic succeptibility and an environmental factor?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: autism
« Reply #6 on: 26/10/2005 14:09:47 »
There was only 1 doctor who thought he'd found a link between mercury in vaccinations and autism, and his work has been almost universally condemned as being flawed.
However, having said that, mercuric oxide is 1 of the few mutagens that can cross the placental barrier & has been shown to be the cause of physical & behavioural abnormalities in wildlife born near sites which use it (it was at one time widely used in paper-pulping operations).
I'm not sure if any research has been done on the possibility of trace amounts of mercury remaining in a woman's body after she herself was vaccinated as a child and it then transferring to the foetus, causing the genetic problems associated with autism.

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
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another_someone

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Re: autism
« Reply #7 on: 26/10/2005 16:58:34 »
The problem I see is that modern exposure to mercury is very much less than that which our forefathers were exposed to, and yet, far from seeing a reduction in autism, we are seeing an apparent increase in autism.  While it is very possible that the apparent increase is a consequence of greater awareness of the condition, and thus it is simply that the condition was under-diagnosed in the past (or maybe over-diagnosed today), it certainly would not seem any reason to believe that the level of autism in the community has reduced, and certainly not to the degree that we have seen reduction in other aspects of mercury poisoning (how many hatters today do we have afflicted with the madness that comes of mercury poisoning - even mercury thermometers will shortly be banned for public use, if they have not already been done so, although I have yet to hear of anyone suffering from thermometer poisoning).
 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: autism
« Reply #8 on: 27/10/2005 23:24:35 »
I've not heard of mercury causing autism.  Mercury is clearly dangerous and there's some evidence it can cause (or at least contribute significantly to) alzheimer's, and perhaps multiple sclerosis and maybe also ME (chronic fatigue syndrome). But not autism.

However, if you google "mercury" and "autism" (which I've just tried) there do seem to be alot of sites that suggest a possible (though unsubstantiated) link between them.

Going off at a complete tangent ... has anyone read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon?  It's the best book I've read in ages - very original.  I can recommend it highly.  (It's a novel about a boy with Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism - hence the tenuous link to the above discussion topic.)


"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."
 

another_someone

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Re: autism
« Reply #9 on: 28/10/2005 02:55:47 »
quote:
Originally posted by Solvay_1927

I've not heard of mercury causing autism.  Mercury is clearly dangerous and there's some evidence it can cause (or at least contribute significantly to) alzheimer's, and perhaps multiple sclerosis and maybe also ME (chronic fatigue syndrome). But not autism.

However, if you google "mercury" and "autism" (which I've just tried) there do seem to be alot of sites that suggest a possible (though unsubstantiated) link between them.



I have heard of aluminium being tentatively linked to Alzheimer's, but not yet heard of mercury (although, I would imagine if you look long enough on the Internet, you will find almost every substance under the sun accused of complicity).

MS is an autoimmune disease, and so I don't see it being caused by heavy metal toxicity (but, who knows).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sclerosis#Why_multiple_sclerosis_occurs
quote:

The most popular hypothesis is that a viral infection or retroviral reactivation primes a susceptible immune system for an abnormal reaction later in life. On a molecular level, this might occur if there is a structural similarity between the infectious virus and some component of the central nervous system, leading to eventual confusion in the immune system. Since MS seems to be more common in people who live further from the equator, another theory proposes that decreased sunlight exposure[10] and possibly decreased vitamin D production may help cause MS. Other theories, noting that MS is less common in children with siblings, suggest that less exposure to illness in childhood leads to an immune system which is not primed to fight infection and is thus more likely to attack the body. One explanation for this would be an imbalance between the Th2 type of helper T-cells, which fight infection, and the Th1 type, which are more active in allergy and more likely to attack the body. Another theory describes MS as an immune response to a chronic viral infection. The association of MS with the Epstein-Barr virus suggests a potential viral contribution in at least some individuals.



With ME, if it is a single disease, then the problem is that some people will improve over time, which would not be what I would expect if we have a problem of chronic heavy metal exposure.  Heavy metals tend to accumulate in the body, and tend to cause irreversible damage.


quote:

Going off at a complete tangent ... has anyone read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon?  It's the best book I've read in ages - very original.  I can recommend it highly.  (It's a novel about a boy with Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism - hence the tenuous link to the above discussion topic.)


"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."



Not read the book (not much of a reader of fiction) but heard the book read on BBC Radio 4 some time ago.  Was fascinating, although the ending was a bit unrealistic (where were the legal repercussions of killing a dog? would the RSCA have nothing to say about it?  Some other aspects of the ending were also a bit too fairy tale-ish).
 

Offline mannasugar

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Re: autism
« Reply #10 on: 29/10/2005 19:35:35 »
The information I have came from this site.
 Please check it out.
 
 generationrescue.com
 Thank you D.J. Moore

D.J.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: autism
« Reply #11 on: 31/10/2005 03:39:21 »
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/08/opinion/08baron-cohen.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5070&en=14d3accc42f320af&ex=1130821200

Check out this article. You'll have to register with the New York Times website 1st but that only takes a couple of minutes & there are no strings attached.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: autism
« Reply #11 on: 31/10/2005 03:39:21 »

 

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