Review of Autism Research Returns to Questions About Mercury in Vaccines

A 2009 review of research on autism by Dr. Theoharis Theoharides and Dr. Duraisamy Kempuraj of the Tufts University School of Medicine, and Lyn Redwood, co-founder and board member of the Coalition for SafeMinds and the National Autism Association, summarizes the findings of autism research to date. For those interested in the scientific research around the subject of autism, this review is a must-read. Parents will particularly appreciate the section evaluating treatment methods and existing medication.

Vaccine safety advocates, however, will be particularly interested in the review’s findings on mercury-based vaccines. The link between mercury and autism has been hotly contested, but, as this review points out, there are still reasons to believe that there is a relationship between the two. As the review states:

87% of children included in the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) had ASDs [Autism Spectrum Disorders]. Moreover, a paper based on computerized medical records in the Vaccine Safety Datalink concluded that there was ‘significantly raised rate ratios for ASDs with mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines.’

The report goes on to say that children with autism spectrum disorders may be unable to regulate oxidative stress. This inability may in some cases be associated with mercury toxicity. Based on this review, it is clear that scientific research on the relationship between mercury in vaccines and the incidence of autism is still divided, and that the matter needs to be further investigated.

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