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quote:Originally posted by Solvay_1927I'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.
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 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.
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."