A recent study has once again tackled the issue of thimerosal (ethyl mercury) in mercury causing autism in children. [it’s called Thiomersal in the rest of the world]. I have to tell you it found no connection and I consider the science behind this latest study and its findings to be very sound. Despite what Joe Mercola thinks and what untrained enthusiasts like Mike Adams (The self-styled “Health Ranger”) have to say, there is no link between the two and I have never believed there was.
That’s not to say that vaccination does not cause autism: it does (more of that in a minute). It is also not to say that mercury isn’t a deadly poison; it is. But the hysteria surrounding mercury thimerosal has distracted from the truth of the issues and I think it’s time I spoke out clearly.
FIRST: I have documented cases of a second sibling to an autistic child who did NOT get vaccinated and yet the second child developed autism. This is difficult to explain on the mercury causation theory.
SECOND: we haven’t had thimerosal in vaccines here in California for several years and yet the autism rate has not dropped. To me this is pretty damning to the “mercury theory.”
Now I do believe that vaccination is a major cause of autism spectrum disorder, if not THE cause. Why do I believe that? Too many cases of children degenerating immediately after vaccines. I was on TV, radio and in the newspapers giving this out in the 1980s. I knew it then and I know it’s true now.
But how? Measles (primarily).
Measles disease is deadly because it causes a severe encephalitis (brain inflammation). I think the attenuated vaccine does the same thing. The measles (as MMR vaccine) doesn’t stop measles but gives a weird mutation of the disease, complete with low-grade encephalitis, which causes sufficient brain damage to lead to autism.
Don’t forget the work of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who found live measles virus rampant in the gut and tissues of autistic children. He was “discredited” (they had to do that). Wakefield was accused of financial interests (as if the drug companies are somehow above that!)
BUT THEY NEVER DISPROVED HIS FINDINGS. They can’t. All that the hue and cry achieved was to stop people paying any attention to what he found. Live rogue measles rampant in the bodies of little children is bad news and I name it as THE cause of autism. Only time will tell if I’m right.
But it will explain why a sibling can get autism – infection by the same organism, transmitted from the sibling by simple contagion.
Now, I’ve got that off my chest, you can read the details of the article below:
[Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years.
Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al, for the Vaccine Safety Datalink Team
N Engl J Med. 2007;357:1281-1292]
Autism and mercury connection, yes or no?
The study went to careful lengths to measure the amount of mercury exposure of children though vaccination sources and compare that with disease outcomes (how else could you settle the question?)
They looked at exposure to mercury through vaccines in prenatal, perinatal, and infancy, taking children up to 10 years old. Scores were then compared with neuropsychological outcomes. Data were derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Safety Datalink and four HMOs provided data for the current study.
The authors retrospectively reconstructed their exposures to mercury up until the subjects were 7 months old, reasoning that the bulk of thimerosal exposure (by weight) in vaccines occurs during the first half-year of life. Mothers were interviewed to determine possible fetal exposure to ethyl mercury, in the form of maternal vaccines or immune globulin exposure but also in diet and even dental work.
This was pretty thorough.
Data collected included measures of maternal intelligence, measures of the home environment, and other social factors that might influence testing performance. Blinded testers (meaning they didn’t know which children had the most exposure) evaluated the children on 42 neuropsychological performance measures, including assessments of language development and performance, fine motor functioning, general intelligence, measures of attention, and frequency of tics, among other domains.
The final analyses included 1047 children, but this was approximately 30% of those who were originally deemed eligible.
The median mercury exposure level from vaccines in the subjects was 112.5 micrograms. Only 11% of children had been exposed to mercury through maternal vaccination or administration of immune globulin.
The study found that children of mothers with a higher IQ received more mercury, due to increased parental compliance with vaccination schedules.
There was no consistent pattern of association with thimerosal exposure and developmental outcome. For example, prenatal exposure had a positive association (meaning that higher levels correlated with higher performance) with one measure and a negative association with another, and this only in the combined (male and female) subjects) and separately in males.
For exposures from birth to 7 months among males, increasing levels of thimerosal exposure were associated with improved letter and word recognition but poorer behavior ratings (parental assessment) and higher likelihood of tics. Females had positive correlations between thimerosal and 2 performance measures.
Two associations emerged which need further investigation:
- an increased risk for tics in boys with postnatal exposure to thimerosal, and
- a link between speech and verbal IQ defects associated, in cases of prenatal exposure.
The authors concluded that this study did not support a causal link between prenatal or postnatal thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological dysfunction, especially autism, in childhood.