Are blood mercury levels an important metric in autism?

Left Brain Right Brain

A recent study shows that autistic children do not have more mercury in their blood than typical children. When it came out I didn’t have time to discuss it. I have some time now, and other people have blogged it, so I decided it was time to address some thoughts here.

The study, from the U.C. Davis MIND Institute: Blood Mercury Concentrations in CHARGE Study Children with and without Autism concluded:

After accounting for dietary and other differences in Hg exposures, total Hg in blood was neither elevated nor reduced in CHARGE Study preschoolers with AU/ASD as compared with unaffected controls, and resembled those of nationally representative samples.

This paper and its conclusion were sure to be criticized by the alternative-medical autism community. Why? because the autism communities are still battling the idea that autism is a “novel” form of mercury poisoning. Anything, no matter how small, that challenges…

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