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A link between thimerosal and the brain: Can vaccines affect central nervous system function?

o serious disorders that manifest themselves during childhood, including autism and ADHD.

"Scientists certainly acknowledge that exposure to neurotoxins like ethanol and heavy metals can cause developmental disorders, but until now, the precise mechanisms underlying their toxicity have not been known." said Deth. "The recent increase in the incidence of autism led us to speculate that environmental exposures, including vaccine additives might contribute to the triggering of this disorder."

Thimerosal, which was largely phased out in the U.S. and in Europe starting in 2000,was often used for its preservative abilities in multi-dose units of vaccines for diseases like hepatitis, whooping cough, tetanus and diptheria. Today, most vaccines carry only trace amounts of it, according to the CDC. But in larger, multi-dose vials of these vaccines, often shipped to and used in third world countries, thimerosal is still very common. Multi-dose flu vaccines still contain thimerosal.

Additionally, the scientists recently obtained more insight into the mechanism by which thimerosal interferes with folate-dependent methylation. It acts by inhibiting the biosynthesis of the active form of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), which is of particular interest because doctors treating autistic kids are having good success with the administration of methycobalamin.


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Contact: Aimee Midei
molecularpsychiatry@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-6739
Molecular Psychiatry
5-Feb-2004


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