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There’s a Funny Thing About Evidence: More Support for Autism-Mercury Link

Science_jpg_w300h345 " ...thimerosal at the same concentrations received in human infants had clearly measurable effects on opioid receptor development in the infant rats. They also found that these effects were stronger at higher doses. The effect was found to be persistent, lasting well beyond the initial period of administration. According to the authors, “very likely, it is permanent.”"

By Mark Blaxill

Despite the relentless drumbeat of propaganda from the CDC, public health authorities and the thuggish on-line goons of the medical industry, there’s a funny thing going on. The evidence of a connection between mercury exposure and autism keeps growing.

Last month, two scientists at the University of Northern Iowa, Catherine DeSoto and Robert Hitlan, published a fascinating review paper (see HERE for an interview with DeSoto; also see HERE and HERE for earlier reviews of DeSoto’s successful debunking of an error-filled paper on autism and mercury). They asked a simple question: what does the published evidence linking autism and mercury really say? To answer that question, they did a simple Pub Med search. They searched for the terms “(Autism AND Mercury) OR (Autism AND Heavy Metals)”. They found 163 articles (a number that has since risen to 174) and reviewed them. According to the authors, “Of these 163 articles, 58 were research articles with empirical data relevant to the question of a link between autism and one or more toxic heavy metals. Fifteen were offered as evidence against a link between exposure to these metals and autism. In contrast, a sum of 43 papers were supporting a link between autism and exposure to those metals.” In short, 74% of the published studies supported the theory.

Evidence is a funny thing.

Last week, yet another important study was published with no fanfare in the mainstream media. A research team in Warsaw led by Dr. Dorota Majewska published the latest findings from their ongoing investigation of the effect of thimerosal administration on newborn rats. I wrote about the first published findings from this project HERE. In their latest paper, the authors extended their investigation of the potential relationship between thimerosal and the development of opioid receptors in the infant brain. They found that thimerosal at the same concentrations received in human infants had clearly measurable effects on opioid receptor development in the infant rats. They also found that these effects were stronger at higher doses. The effect was found to be persistent, lasting well beyond the initial period of administration. According to the authors, “very likely, it is permanent.”

Should it surprise anyone that thimerosal administration in low doses is dangerous to infant brain development? So far, we’ve seen this result repeated reliably in rats, hamsters, mice and monkeys (the single animal study that has not reproduced this finding was NIH-funded).  It’s obvious to these researchers what many of us have argued for years, that giving mercury to infants on purpose is stupid. In a similar spirit, the Warsaw team closed their paper with the following observation.

In conclusion, this study documents that parenteral administration of [thimerosal] to suckling rats at doses equivalent to those used in pediatric vaccines or higher produces lasting alterations of [mu-opioid receptors ] in several brain regions and damage to neurons. If analogous changes occur in the brains of some children, they are likely to have profound neurological, physiological and behavioral consequences, which may be relevant for certain neurodevelopmental disorders. These data argue for removal of [thimerosal] from all infant vaccines.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Mark Blaxill is Editor-at-Large for Age of Autism and a director of SafeMinds. His new book, co-authored with Age of Autism Editor Dan Olmsted, The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and a Man-Made Epidemic will be published next week.

The abstract of the Warsaw team’s article is below. The full article is available free HERE.

Neurochem Res. 2010 Aug 28.
Neonatal Administration of Thimerosal Causes Persistent Changes in Mu Opioid Receptors in the Rat Brain.

Olczak M, Duszczyk M, Mierzejewski P, Bobrowicz T, Majewska MD.

Department of Pharmacology and Physiology of the Nervous System, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Sobieskiego 9 str., 02-957, Warsaw, Poland.

Thimerosal added to some pediatric vaccines is suspected in pathogenesis of several neurodevelopmental disorders. Our previous study showed that thimerosal administered to suckling rats causes persistent, endogenous opioid-mediated hypoalgesia. Here we examined, using immunohistochemical staining technique, the density of mu-opioid receptors (MORs) in the brains of rats, which in the second postnatal week received four i.m. injections of thimerosal at doses 12, 240, 1,440 or 3,000 mug Hg/kg. The periaqueductal gray, caudate putamen and hippocampus were examined. Thimerosal administration caused dose-dependent statistically significant increase in MOR densities in the periaqueductal gray and caudate putamen, but decrease in the dentate gyrus, where it was accompanied by the presence of degenerating neurons and loss of synaptic vesicle marker (synaptophysin). These data document that exposure to thimerosal during early postnatal life produces lasting alterations in the densities of brain opioid receptors along with other neuropathological changes, which may disturb brain development.


Susan Goewey

THis makes me so ill. "When in doubt, leave it out." WHY is this so difficult for CDC to admit?? How many more infants have to be damaged? How many more parents have to have their hearts broken, first when they realize what they have unknowingly done to their babies...second when they are villified as "anti-science" ?

just makes me sad, mad, frustrated...hopeless. I'm beginning to think the truth won't come out in my now 10 year old son's lifetime.

(and no, it is not always reversable. tried chealating. made him worse. had so much hope in the beginning. at age 10 the gap is growing so wide, i've lost hope he'll ever have anything remotely resembling a normal conversation. but i'll keep praying.) and yes, we've thrown everything we have at trying to help him, ABA, biomed, one on one, love ... still autistic. As my mother used to say (in the days when we only had a few childhood vaccines and were actually allowed to catch --as I did--M M AND R... and were not considered at risk for hepatitis since my mom was not an IV drug user):
"an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure every time"


if vaccines cause autism, i wonder if autism causes vaccines... or at least is the quality of thinking that causes vaccines to be made with mercury and other noxious substances, sick?

the bloodstream is not meant to be injected with toxins. there is nothing like injections in nature. the only thing that comes close is a mosquito that sucks blood, but - they can implant malaria, can't they? bloodstreams are sacred... meant to remain pristine.

Diane Farr

Samsdad, I believe the media has been asked by HHS not to report anything adverse about vaccines nor give equal time to parents who have concerns.

R Prasad

I saw this excellent article by Dr.Mercola today on how drug cartels are moving away from drugs to vaccines for each and every disease to avoid any liability and at the same time bankrupt American patients. It is a must read for everyone. Here is the link: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/08/warning--prescription-and-otc-drug-recalls-soaring.aspx

Jane Sheppard

Thanks for this important info, I'm sharing on my site and FB. The sad thing is that the majority of people think it's not an issue since thimerosal "has been taken out of vaccines". We know it's not true with flu vaccines and some others still contain it. But this science is so extremely important ALSO because there are so many kids out there now with toxic mercury levels who can be helped by removing this poison. AND I want to make another point that mercury is not the only issue with vaccines. I decided 16 years ago to refuse all vaccines for my daughter after doing a lot of my own research. My decision had nothing to do with mercury and autism since I didn't hear anything about it back then. There are other toxins in vaccines and vaccines can cause immune damage in addition to neurological damage. There's a lot of info at http://www.healthychild.com/vaccine-choices on vaccine issues and keeping kids healthy without vaccines. 16 years later with a teen who is amazingly healthy, I view my decision to not vaccinate as the best parenting decision I ever made.


We should be careful trying extrapolate this research to humans, though it is VERY helpful is directing further research and generating hypotheses. For example, I believe that the recoverable versus permanent damage issue is still open, at least in humans. Also, there's a variable that, at least in humans, will be difficult to control for. That is, the amount of exogenous aluminum and fluoride present in the bodies of the "untreated" control group. Later in life, the mercury amalgam fillings become a concern.





Grandma I could not have said it better myself


"All procedures were reviewed and approved by the local ethics committee on animal studies.”

Phew! Thank goodness. For a minute there, I thought that these lab rats were being “treated” like our kids, with no ethics committee or informed consent.

Actually, pharma and our government treat our kids worse than these lab rats. First, they poison them. Then they enroll them in Special Ed classes. All the while, they’re minting brand new life-long customers for pharma’s magical “cures”. Isn’t it about time that we spoke out against this carnage?


Thanks Mark, for highlighting the valuable research by this Polish group. I hope that they continue this work. This is “real” science, friends!

I was struck by a word used by these authors in three separate places in their article: “ischemic-like” degeneration [or degenerating] of neurons.


Two other paragraphs, sort of jumped out at me:

“Our earlier pharmacokinetic study documented that Hg from i.m. THIM administration rapidly accumulates in the rat brain, with peak levels reached 4 days after the injection, and that it remains there for many weeks and possibly months [11].”

“...it is possible that THIM interfered with this process by altering receptor gene expression through direct or indirect pathways [30, 31].”

Are immune macrophages (microglia) involved? Are inflammatory cytokines involved, e.g. IL-6? Are vasoactive neuropeptides involved? If cerebral microvascular ischemia is somehow involved, are cerebral microinfarcts identified? Do they occur in a particular vascular distribution? Are any thromboemboli identified in the larger blood vessels? How would the addition of aluminum in amount equivalent to that found in the vaccine schedules affect the pharmacokinetics of mercury? If thimerosal is affecting receptor gene expression in rat brains, what is being affected? One of the DNA methyl transferases? Methionine synthase? Can proteins of this class be functionally “recovered” or replenished? What is the precise sequence of events? Once a cell is infarcted, it is dead. Ischemic cells are potentially recoverable, if blood flow (perfusion) can be restored.


Further studies of this type would be VERY helpful in designing fMRI, quantitative perfusion, and viability imaging studies in larger animals.


Taximom, I could "guess" it was to avoid any corelation to tay-sachs...but that's just a guess.



...Should it surprise anyone that thimerosal administration in low doses is dangerous to infant brain development?

....So far, we’ve seen this result repeated reliably in rats, hamsters, mice and monkeys (the single animal study that has not reproduced this finding was NIH-funded).

Only the NIH could design a study to take a compound that is toxic to neurons at nanomolar concentrations and find nothing wrong with it...

This is most likely done with a survey procedure similar to the way they get the answers for the show "Family Feud.."


Excellent Summary Mark! I read pubmed several times a week. There is more than enough science. It's just science that goes unreported again and again. However tomorrow, if they found 1/2 of 1/2 of 1 percent of kids with ASD may have a mutation on a gene (that also strangely some still without autism have) somehow authors assumptions of a none finding, looking like a finding (in some strange alter universe),will be all over every major news outlet. The term "Freedom of the press" is futile..Instead it's like one big, constant snow job.


Cat Jameson-we must continue to parade around with signs as long as there are hideously ignorant and bitter parents like this out there hell bent on destroying more children and their lives. God help the children of these scums.



Samsdad, the entire mainstream media is controlled by approx 130 people. The people who sit on the board of all the major media outlets, also sit on the board of Proctor & Gamble, CocoCola, Johnson & Johnson, etc. Just google "who controls the media". What is interesting is the thing most feared by those in contol who are selling their mass money making products (be it anti depressants, vaccines, oil, or diapers) is information on the Internet. They fear it because they know parents and/or average consumers, are almost always speaking the truth.That's precisely why "doctors" (I use that term loosely) like Nancy Snyderman are trying to publicly vilify parents who choose not to vaccinate, without ever pointing out how many children are victims of pharma.

Commenter RE CONTACT

Hi - I just checked every email address and I got right into email by clicking. Could you check again please? Sorry for the difficulty. KIM

Heidi N

I shudder when I think that mercury has been purposely injected into newborns. It's so obviously insane. I then shudder that charges have not been brought concerning this. I feel ill.


It's not PERMANENT! Remove the mercury and you remove the autism, so says Andrew Cutler.

And so far, EVERYTHING he has written about autism/mercury/recovery has proven correct for my son!

Why more folks aren't getting down to the business of removal is a "mystery" for me.

kathleen heltsley

Quick google search:
At work and having a hard time opening CoMed.
Hope this link is good for you.


Autism Grandma

There needs to be BILLBOARDS in every major city that say: "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM", SIGNS for front yards that say: "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM", POSTERS for businesses that say: "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM", T-SHIRTS that say: "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM", and FLYERS for everyone to hand out that say: "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM".



to all those who heart sank. Don't give up. Never give up. There are plenty of kids who will have a better quality of life and possibly a normal life for many. who knows if yours isn't one of them. keep going!


also @ barbaraj:

Rhogam was preserved with thimerosal until 2001. It is logical to suspect that, like vaccines, old stores of thimerosal-preserved rhogam were used until they were all gone, in spite of the fact that new, unpreserved doses were manufactured.



How did religion get into it? Did the study you quote actually use RELIGION to determine the study subjects?

Do you have a link for this study?


It's permanent in these untreated mice, but wait until the pharms find out they can make money fixing it, there will be a fix. First they have to admit to the wrong, and that has to be offset by a guarantee of revenue surpassing the incoming suits. The fix will probably be similar or the same as what many are already using in their efforts to heal the body , the possible differences will be "perhaps" in the psychological strategies . I have high hopes, and don't want to cause anymore harm until that day comes.

david burd

Mark, The Industry just won't quit in their dealing flu shots with mercury in them. This is the current U.S. CDC website actually touting TWO flu shots for infants/kids not ever having any. The CDC info is in quotes:

"†Children aged 6 months--8 years who did not receive at least 1 dose of an influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine, who have never received a seasonal influenza vaccine before, or who were vaccinated for the first time with the seasonal 2009--10 seasonal vaccine but who received only 1 dose should receive 2 doses of the 2010--11 influenza vaccine formula, spaced 4 or more weeks apart."

And here is the official data from the CDC flu vaccine chart for mercury content of shots taken from the multidose vial:

"Mercury content (mcg Hg/0.5 mL dose)

25 mcg per dose for infants 6 mos and older"

Thus, with two recommended doses, we see 50 micrograms of mercury is recommended by the CDC!! Of course, all the other flu vaccines' toxic ingredients also wreak their havoc.

RN Mommy

I just purchased and finished viewing Autism:Made in the USA. Excellent film that touches on thimerisol and what it does in the brain. They have many qualified MDs/pediatricians interviewed in this film. I plan to pass it around to anyone willling to view it. Just breaks my heart for my kids and so many damaged by mercury. I am also certain I was mercury toxic when I carried them in utero. May the madness stop!!


Dear mary, take heart. It was only permanent under the conditions of the experiment. Have a look at some videos of recovered autistic children--it wasn't permanent for them!

Cat Jameson

How long must we parade around holding up our signs that say "....giving mercury to infants on purpose is stupid..."? I know I will continue to do just that until every wall comes tumbling down. Thank you, Mark, for another insightful and truth-filled article.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

I was rereading a portion of Evidence of Harm, and noticed that when the Russians did their studies of the effects of Thimerosal, circa 1982, they concluded that ethylmercury causes autoimmune changes at the site of injection. Well what if it is not merely the site of the injection- what if it is any cell that comes in contact with the mercury. Can this be the reason that mercury is being considered as a cause or partial cause of so many autoimmune diseases.
Its one more tragedy, but some good will come of this evil- Our Farma Friends ruining so many people's health with their flu vaccines and Gardasil - just sends more people, who would not listen to us, running to their computers to do some research on vaccines.


There will likely never be a report until the rebuttal is built. They all have sponsors!
To those that believe only regressive autism is caused by thimerosal......in this study rhogam seems to promote ASD as well, and of course we now have H1N1 vaccine. *TCR thimerosal containing rho(d)

The Institutional Review Board of the Institute for Chronic Illnesses approved the present study. A total of 53 consecutive non-Jewish Caucasian patients with ASDs (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth ed. – DSM IV) born between 1987 and 2001 who presented to the Genetic Centers of America for outpatient genetic/developmental evaluations were prospectively collected from June 1, 2005 through March 31, 2006. Imaging and laboratory testing were conducted on each patient to rule out other causal factors for their ASDs. As race-matched controls, the frequency of Rh negativity was determined from 926 non-Jewish Caucasian pregnant women who had presented for outpatient prenatal genetics care to the Genetic Centers of America between 1980 and 1989.

Results. Children with ASDs (28.30%) were significantly more likely (odds ratio 2.35, 95% confidence interval 1.17–4.52, p < 0.01) to have Rh-negative mothers than controls (14.36%). Each ASD patient's mother was determined to have been administered a *TCR during her pregnancy.

Conclusion. The results provide insights into the potential role prenatal mercury exposure may play in some children with ASDs.

Theodore Van Oosbree

The Moving Syringe writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

- The Rubaiyat of Mercury (with apologies to Omar Khayyam)


Thanks as always, Mark. Reading this, I found it kind of challenging to chuckle, moan and curse at the same time.

Opioid receptors-- bells ringing all over the place. Something about certain food proteins setting off opioid brain reactions in children with autism. Also the initial phase of the Hewitson et al. study of infant macaques-- the brain stem injury observed in the monkeys who received the HepB series. Dr. Wakefield remarked on the existance of opioid receptors in the brain stem.

One of Agatha Christie's detectives would have identified thimerosal as at least one of the culprits in the "autism mystery" within a few pages. But then Miss Marple or whoever would have been stripped of their license and lambasted in the press, setting off the real tale of crime and suspense: when a culprit is so obvious, why do authorities refuse to recognize the evidence?


According to the authors, “very likely, it is permanent.” My heart just sank.


How was this not reported on somewhere in the media? This is pretty significant stuff. SMFH.

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