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Mercury Leaves Its Mark: Autism, Cancer & Neurodegenerative Disease Part 3

By Teresa Conrick

This is a continuing look at a hypothesis, using pertinent pieces of evidence-based research, that connects autism and other neurodegenerative disorders to mercury and also to cancer. Read Part 2  and Part 1.  Here is such a study related to mercury and breast cancer:

"Methyl mercury influences growth-related signaling in MCF-7 breast cancer cells" (Pubmed)

"Environmental contaminants have been shown to alter growth-regulating signaling pathways through molecular mechanisms that are mainly unclear. Here we report that within a narrow concentration range (0.5-1 microM) methyl mercury (MeHg) significantly stimulated growth of MCF-7 cells, induced Ca(2+) mobilization, and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (1/2) (Erk1/2)."  

Here also was a report on research done in 2005 that linked Thimerosal to the glutamate issues of autism and the other diseases we are examining:
Study implicates thimerosal in glutamate dysfunction  (ARI Newsletter)

"New research links the mercury-laden vaccine preservative thimerosal to dysregulation of the glutamate system. Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, is crucial to learning and memory, but when present in excess it can cause widespread neuron damage or death. Glutamate abnormalities are increasingly being implicated as a factor in autism, Fragile X syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders."

Please take a moment to read that entire page as it contain some very interesting information.  Note also the story of the boy with an autism diagnosis who improved on cough drops that contain dextromethorphan, a glutamate antagonist, which correlates to the past mention in Part 1 - (HERE)

Journal of Environmental Health, 2010 Antagonism of Dextromethorphan and Riluzole to Neurotoxicity Induced by Methylmercury in Rats.  I am not endorsing dextromethorphan or any of the medications mentioned here but pointing out the connection from mercury neurotoxin blockers to an increased pharmaceutical cornucopia of using them as medications directed at neurodegenerative diseases, autism and cancer.  There is an irony here that cannot be denied and needs to be examined more closely.

It appears that six years ago, when this ARI newsletter was published, there was a connection to glutamate dysfunction in autism but not yet its connection to ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Schizophrenia or cancer.  Somewhere, it must have become more obvious, which makes it all the more curious as to why Dr. Gorski would not mention that in his blogs, instead of sarcastic hurls targeted towards so many parents looking for answers about their child's regression into an autism diagnosis.

Here is a good synopsis of where we are in Part 3: the pattern - the hypothesis : toxic exposure (mercury) > glutamate dysfunction > altered protein tyrosine kinase - phosphorylation > regression into disease. The following is research showing how each of the diseases has a common denominator of altered or aberrant protein tyrosine kinases and protein tyrosine phosphorylation:

Protein tyrosine kinases in human breast cancer: kinetic properties and evidence for the presence of two forms of native enzyme  (NIH PubMed)

Protein tyrosine kinases in malignant melanoma(NIH PubMed)

Altered protein tyrosine phosphorylation in Alzheimer's disease(NIH PubMed)

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in schizophrenia   (NIH PubMed)  (need to add this study for good visual connection : "Role of reactive oxygen species, mitogen-activated protein kinases and signaling cascade in mercury immunotoxicity( "This study indicates that mercury suppresses NO synthesis by inhibition of the nuclear factor .B pathway and modulates cytokine expression by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation"

Protein tyrosine kinase activity in T lymphocytes from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. (NIH PubMed)

Aberrant protein kinases and phosphoproteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  (HERE)  

Inhibition of protein tyrosine/mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase activity is associated with D2 dopamine receptor supersensitivity in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. (NIH PubMed)

"Brain Region-Specific Decrease In the Activity of Protein Kinase C, and Increase In Activated MAP ( mitogen-activated protein) Kinases In Regressive Autism" (IMFAR)

As these connections become more clear, one does not have to look far to see how medications shown to "attenuate MeHg-mediated cell death by blocking NMDARs" would then be coming to your local Walgreens for diseases on the rise:

Riluzole Clinical Trials

"Review of the use of the glutamate antagonist riluzole in psychiatric disorders and a description of recent use in childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Open-label riluzole in fragile X syndrome.

Efficacy of Riluzole in Hereditary Cerebellar Ataxia

Efficacy and Tolerability of Riluzole and Biomarker of Treatment Response in Treatment-Resistant Depression

Riluzole and Sorafenib Tosylate in Treating Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors or Melanoma

Riluzole Augmentation in Treatment-refractory Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Riluzole to Treat Depression in Bipolar Disorder

Riluzole and Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Brain Metastases

A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Examination of Children and Adolescents Taking Riluzole for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Developing New Treatments for Tourette Syndrome: Therapeutic Trials With Modulators of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission

Riluzole in Women With Stage I, Stage II, or Stage IIIA Breast Cancer

Riluzole in Treating Patients With Stage III or Stage IV Melanoma That Cannot Be Removed by Surgery

Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Riluzole in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

Treatment of Refractory Schizophrenia With Riluzole

Memantine or Riluzole Prophylaxis for Corticosteroid-Induced Mood and Declarative Memory Changes

Rapid Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Major Depression"

"Riluzole to Treat Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Autism"  (NIMH)
In looking at that list, the one study that seems odd and to not fit based on all that has been connected, is the "Efficacy of Riluzole in Hereditary Cerebellar Ataxia."  The word "hereditary" is strange in that none of these others include it.  In looking at cerebellar ataxia, there appears to be another type:

Cerebellar ataxia presumed due to live, attenuated measles virus vaccine.  1967  (JAMA)

Gait disturbance interpreted as cerebellar ataxia after MMR vaccination at 15 months of age: a follow-up study  2000   NIH PubMed

"Gait disturbance registered after MMR vaccination seems to be more frequent than hitherto reported."

Is it possible that viruses can also be involved in this process?

Effect of persistent measles virus infection on protein kinase C activity and c-fos protooncogene expression in neuroblastoma cells 1989  (NIH PubmMed )

Reversal of the measles virus-mediated increase of phosphorylating activity in persistently infected mouse neuroblastoma cells by anti-measles virus antibodies
(VIRSGMJournals)  1994   "These results demonstrate that measles virus induces elevation in cellular phosphorylation which is essential for measles virus production."

Since many children had developmental-medical regression after vaccination, and a majority with thimerosal-containing vaccines, coupled with often another regression with significant health issues after the combined MMR vaccine, is it possible that these connections and this hypothesis shows a mechanism to illness and disease?  These authors seem to follow this idea:

"Mercury is widely distributed in the biosphere, and its toxic effects have been associated with human death and several ailments that include cardiovascular diseases, anemia, kidney and liver damage, developmental abnormalities, neurobehavioral disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancers........several genes that encode for proteins in the intracellular
signaling cascades that are activated by receptor tyrosines were initially isolated as oncogenes in cancer cells or tumor viruses [21, 25, 58, 59]. This finding implies that the origins of most diseases are linked via exposures to chemical and other environmental xenobiotics including mercury. Degree of toxicity depends on mercury species, dosage, individuality and the type of MHC association [10, 43-48]." 2006   International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  (HERE)

In Part 4, we will go back in time to one of the original Kanner patients.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.




Scopolamine the motion sickness medicine is supposed to work in this process as well. So it can be delivered in patch form. Sorry if someone mentioned this already.



Glutaraldehyde, glutamic acid, MSG in vaccines including MMR, MMRV, VAR, and ZOS; MSG and its bretheren in infant formula, especially the hypo-allergenic ones.

IOM reviewing cerebellar ataxia, systemic lupus erethymous as adverse events of varicella vax.

My 2nd, diagnosed between 2 & 3 with hypotonic gait disorder after 1st varicella, later developed apparent cerebellar ataxia at 4 after Varicella #2 + DTaP #4.

It sure walks like a duck and quacks like a duck in our house. But note that the injury table doesn't currently include anything like gait disturbance under MMR, despite these great studies you found. Hmmmm...wonder why....

Teresa Conrick


Thank you all for your input!

Hey, Maurine. Actually in Part 1 and 2 there are studies showing Thimerosal affects the NMDA receptors and then this process of protein kinase signaling. It is scary BUT knowledge is power -- then we can do something, right? For starters, I hope everyone goes to the Canary site and joins! Then, please read Part 4, next- where past and present meet --

Thank you, John and Katie. Our kids, and those not yet harmed, need our help. I wish NIH et al felt this urgency that we all do. Those of us in the trenches don't turn off the lights on research at 5 pm. We also don't have the luxury of denying damage from, for example, thimerosal and MMR, as there is so much published research connecting these dots and diseases. It is not a pretty picture but it is reality.


Never mind
I answered my own question, it is sold over the counter and look ---- it was approved just last year in 2010 for fibromyglia which I have suspected for a very long time to be part of all this big mess too.

Oh and look it was approved just last year for a treatment for neuropathic pain which is just what my husband is suffering from because of his acquired mitrocondrial mypothy from a tetanus booster.

It must be really new, so new that my husband's pain clinic has not heard of it yet! Because so far all they have given him for pain starts off growing in red poppy fields and Lyrica. Now Lyrica there is a very magic pill indeed! A pill that is as good as a whole bottle of some type of whiskey - let us say Bourbon.


Hmmmm I wonder if some of that cough medicine might help my daughter's on going problem with cramping legs and at the same time either acid reflux really bad or throwing up .

The cough medicine might be helpful anyway since along with all this is a lot of something in her lungs.

Is this over the counter stuff or does the docs have it all tied up neatly with precription paper too?


Information hurricane, but we all eventually turn into storm chasers, so thank you for leading us into it. I have the sense you're marking a trail, Teresa. I won't forget these terms, these drugs, the cellular processes-- I know I'm going to see them again and again in the very near future. The marketing side will try to capitalize on the secret science while trying to obscure where it stems from. But you're not letting them do it so quietly are you? ;}

Maurine Meleck

Terrific research, Teresa, and very scary. Wonder if there are any of these studies with ethyl mercury. Can the same case be made?
thanks, Maurine

Jeannette Bishop (JenB)

Thanks again! I've been reading a little about how gluten and casein have a high percentage of glutamate. Peanuts and soy as well. Could this be the reason such food proteins are so toxic to many of our children?

This is even more off on a tangent, but I've also read that MSG is used to induce obesity in lab animals. I'm wondering if much of the health problems "linked" to obesity might actually be co-morbid symptoms of mercury exposure and/or other pollutants. Perhaps glutamate dysfunction is also involved in the obesity epidemic?

Katie Wright

wow, this is so powerful.

Just think about how important this research is vs yesterday's press releases from ACE that toddlers w/ autism have somewhat different MRI results than NT toddlers- or- my favorite - the 75th "autism gene" has been found in kids with Fragile X...

If only important research on Hg and other vax perservatives and adjuvants could funded! We would actually see some meaningful autism research progress.


Way to follow the clues! How many doctors could use a copy of this article?

Jill Fenech

About 10 years ago my daughter also was prescribed cough syrup which contained dextromethorphan. My daughter's language and eye contact improved dramatically while taking this cough syrup. A very well meaning doctor looked up all the ingredients in the cough syrup, but we really couldn't find out why she improved (and lost all improvements after discontinuing the syrup!). I just felt another "aha" moment when I read this article. In the end (when I am on my death bed), this will all make sense to everybody....including those who willfully choose not to see. It didn't have to be this way. So, why again does the US allow over 10,000 food additives???? We need the Canary Party to become politically powerful enough to stop this insanity.

John Stone

Amazing, fascinating research Teresa - well done!


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