A recent study finds no statistically significant correlation between urinary mercury levels and autism, according to a Feb. 15 report in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
There has been some concern that mercury may play a role in autism development. To investigate one aspect of this link, Barry Wright of North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust led a team of researchers in a study of 56 children with autism spectrum disorders, and mainstream, special school and sibling controls. The team found that the group with autism did not have elevated or reduced levels of urinary mercury relative to the control groups. These results indicate that mercury excretion rates are unlikely to have a clear causal link to autism spectrum disorders, the authors write.
Citation: Wright B, Pearce H, Allgar V, Miles J, Whitton C, et al. (2012) A Comparison of Urinary Mercury between Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Control Children. PLoS ONE 7(2): e29547. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029547
Financial Disclosure: This research was funded by Sir Samuel Scott of Yews Trust, The London Law Trust and The York Innovation Research Fund from the York and Selby Research and Development Committee, Selby and York Primary Care Trust. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.