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Posts Tagged ‘mercury and autism’

autismAFP (10/20, Santini) reports that researchers at University of California-Davis say that “blood levels of mercury are similar in children with autism and in those developing typically.” In the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers said, “The bottom line is that blood-mercury levels in both populations were essentially the same. However, this analysis did not address a causal role, because we measured mercury after the diagnosis was made.   According to the Los Angeles Times (10/19, Roan) “Booster Shots” blog, the research “is part of a dedicated effort by scientists to identify and study possible causes of autism, both environmental and genetic. The study participants are children between ages 24 months and 60 months who are diagnosed with autism as well as children with other developmental disabilities, and children who are developing normally.”  The Sacramento Bee (10/20, Tong) notes that after looking at the 452 children, the researchers found that “children with autism had lower [blood mercury] levels, but it was because they eat less fish.” After the “researchers took fish consumption into account, the difference disappeared.” HealthDay (10/19, Gardner) and Reuters (10/20, Morgan) also cover the story.

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lupron_1The Chicago Tribune (5/21, Tsouderos) reports, “Desperate to help their autistic children, hundreds of parents nationwide are turning to an unproven and potentially damaging treatment: multiple high doses of” Lupron [leuprolide], a medication “sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders.” Lupron “therapy is based on a theory, unsupported by mainstream medicine, that autism is caused by a harmful link between mercury and testosterone. Children with autism have too much of the hormone, according to the theory, and…Lupron can fix that.” Geneticist Mark Geier, MD, of Maryland and his son, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology, “developed the ‘Lupron protocol’ for autism,” and are now “marketing it across the country, opening clinics in states from Washington to New Jersey.” Noting that Dr. Geier is not “board-certified in any specialty relevant to autism,” the Tribune points out that “four of the world’s top pediatric endocrinologists” called “the Lupron protocol…baseless, supported only by junk science.”

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