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A comparison of urinary mercury between children with autism spectrum disorders and control children.

Wright, B. and Pearce, H. and Allgar, V. and Miles, J. and Whitton, C. and Leon, I. and Jardine, J. and McCaffrey, N. and Smith, R. and Holbrook, I. and Lewis, J. and Goodall, D. and Alderson-Day, B. (2012) 'A comparison of urinary mercury between children with autism spectrum disorders and control children.', PLoS ONE., 7 (2). e29547.

Abstract

Background: Urinary mercury concentrations are used in research exploring mercury exposure. Some theorists have proposed that autism is caused by mercury toxicity. We set out to test whether mercury concentrations in the urine of children with autism were significantly increased or decreased compared to controls or siblings. Methods: Blinded cohort analyses were carried out on the urine of 56 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) compared to their siblings (n = 42) and a control sample of children without ASD in mainstream (n = 121) and special schools (n = 34). Results: There were no statistically significant differences in creatinine levels, in uncorrected urinary mercury levels or in levels of mercury corrected for creatinine, whether or not the analysis is controlled for age, gender and amalgam fillings. Conclusions: This study lends no support for the hypothesis of differences in urinary mercury excretion in children with autism compared to other groups. Some of the results, however, do suggest further research in the area may be warranted to replicate this in a larger group and with clear measurement of potential confounding factors.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029547
Publisher statement:© 2012 Wright et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date accepted:30 November 2011
Date deposited:09 September 2015
Date of first online publication:February 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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