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. 2018 Jun;33(3):949-960.
doi: 10.1007/s11011-018-0211-9. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Mercury-associated Diagnoses Among Children Diagnosed With Pervasive Development Disorders

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Mercury-associated Diagnoses Among Children Diagnosed With Pervasive Development Disorders

David A Geier et al. Metab Brain Dis. .

Abstract

Nelson and Bauman (Pediatrics 111:674-679, 2003) previously hypothesized that pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) was not associated with mercury (Hg) exposure because the medical conditions associated with Hg exposure were not associated with PDD. A hypothesis-testing longitudinal case-control study evaluated the frequency of medically diagnosed conditions previously associated with Hg poisoning, including: epilepsy, dysarthria, failure to thrive, cerebral palsy, or contact dermatitis and other eczema among children preceding their eventual PDD diagnosis (cases) compared to controls. A retrospective examination of medical records within the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) was undertaken. Cases diagnosed with PDD (n = 534) were born from 1991 to 2000 and continuously enrolled until their PDD diagnosis. Controls (n = 26,367) were born from 1991 to 1993 and continuously enrolled from birth for 7.22 years. Within the first 5 years of life, cases compared to controls were significantly (p < 0.0001) more likely to be assigned a diagnosis of contact dermatitis and other eczema (odds ratio (OR) = 2.033), dysarthria (OR = 23.992), epilepsy (OR = 5.351), failure to thrive (OR = 25.3), and cerebral palsy (OR = 4.464). Similar results were observed when the data were separated by gender. Overall, the results of the present study and recently published studies provide direct evidence supporting a link in twelve of twelve categories (100%) of Hg poisoning associated symptoms as defined by Nelson and Bauman (Pediatrics 111:674-679, 2003) and symptoms observed in those with a PDD diagnosis. The results of this study support the biological plausibility of Hg poisoning to induce PDD diagnoses and rejection of the Nelson and Bauman (Pediatrics 111:674-679, 2003) hypothesis because those with a PDD diagnosis have an increased frequency of conditions previously associated with Hg poisoning.

Keywords: Asperger’s disorder; Autism; Autistic disorder; Mercury; Pervasive developmental disorder.

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