While the controversy over causes for the epidemic levels of autism continue, research supports a connection between autism and high mercury levels or other heavy metal toxins.
Hair toxic metal concentrations and autism spectrum disorder severity in young children
Lead author David A Geier: Increasing hair Hg concentrations significantly correlated with increased ASD severity. In contrast, no significant correlations were observed between any other of the hair toxic metals examined and ASD severity. This study helps to provide additional mechanistic support for Hg in the etiology of ASD severity, and is supported by an increasing number of recent critical reviews that provide biological plausibility for the role of Hg exposure in the pathogenesis of ASDs.
Full free research report here.
Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence
Editor: The authors evaluated the scientific knowledge available on the issue of heavy metal toxic exposures and the development of autism. They suggest:
“The question about toxic exposure and autism is open, with the weight of evidence favoring a connection that is not well understood. Although it is not possible to say with certainty, it seems likely that the connection would be mediated by genetic susceptibility and ability to detoxify. That is, some people have genotypes that confer higher susceptibility to toxic exposures. If so, then 50 years ago few people would have had enough toxic exposure to have the neurological changes that result in autism. Today, because many rather than few children are exposed to all sorts of neurotoxins with lesser resources to detoxify the body (environment, diet, lifestyle) those that are vulnerable, may develop autism. Although to say so is perhaps cliché, it could not be more true in the case of autism and neurotoxins: more research is needed.” By Mary Catherine DeSoto* and Robert T. Hitlan
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