The research team, led by Dr. Eric Fombonne, tested mercury levels in the hair and blood samples from autistic children and their mothers and found that the levels did not differ statistically from those samples taken from non-autistic children. They also demonstrated that there was no correlation between the mercury level and the severity of symptoms and level of functioning of autistic children. The results were announced today at the 6th International Meeting For Autism Research (IMFAR) held at the University of Washington State.
“In recent years, hypotheses have been raised concerning a possible relationship between mercury exposure and autism,” says Dr. Eric Fombonne principal researcher, Director of Pediatric Psychiatry at the MCH, and Head of the Division of Child Psychiatry at McGill. “Specifically, the concerns have been related to childhood thimerosal-containing vaccines, dental amalgams, and methylmercury in food.
“Our findings do not support the hypothesis that autism is a form of mercury poisoning. The mercury levels we discovered in autistic children and their mothers were within the normal range for the general population.”
Consecutive referrals of young children to the Autism Spectrum Disorders clinic at the MCH were invited to participate in the study. In total, 71 children were included in the study alongside 76 pediatric controls recruited from clinics at the same hospital. Children with autism spectrum disorders all met rigorous diagnostic criteria and were assessed with state-of-the-art standardized measures. Blood and hair samples were taken from all participating children and their mothers, and analyzed using the most advanced techniques available.
“An important practical implication of this study is that chelation therapies, whereby heavy metals are removed from the body using specific compounds , are not useful in the treatment of autism,” says Dr. Fombonne. “Chelation has never been proved efficacious as a biomedical intervention to treat autism.”
The Montreal Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children’s Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services, and provides ultra specialized care in many fields including: cardiology and cardiac surgery; neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology; genetic research; psychiatry and child development and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages. www.thechildren.com
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, a university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 500 researchers, nearly 1000 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge. For further details visit: www.muhc.ca/research.
Seeta Ramdass | MUHC
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences