New research on autism/vaccine link fires the debate back up
July 19, 2010
SafeMinds, a non-profit organization that promotes research and action against mercury-induced neurological disorders, published two papers in this week’s Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. The first study found that vaccinated baby macaques (monkeys) shared several traits with autistic children as opposed to unvaccinated monkeys. However, this study was conducted on primates rather than humans, so it’s impossible to definitively link vaccinations to autism.
The second paper compared 58 scientific studies. Of these studies, 43 showed that there was evidence for a link between autism and heavy-metal poisoning, while only 13 showed no indication of a link. The researchers at SafeMinds feel that this is sufficient to support their claims that heavy metals such as mercury can cause autism. On the other hand, children with autism could, theoretically, be predisposed to have an unrelated disorder that inhibits their ability to get toxins out of their system. Current research does not offer any suggestions as to why siblings who have had equal exposure to mercury do not get autism at similar rates.
It is worth noting that SafeMinds itself is not against vaccinations, but rather the ingredient thimersol (mercury) which is still found in some immunizations. However, the possibility for bias in their research certainly exists, since their organization is openly opposed to mercury. Further, unbiased research is needed to clarify whether environment can play a role in autism.
Whether a link between vaccinations and autism exists or not, SafeMinds’ suggestions for eliminating mercury from your life are probably sound advice for both adults and children. Their website suggests many things physicians already encourage, such as limiting fish consumption, researching your child’s vaccinations, and avoiding known toxic chemicals. Since mercury has been known to cause death and serious illness, this hardly seems like a radical movement.