Mercury to blame for sharp rise in Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis
The theory that Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is only caused by a genetic defect, has been blown out of the water, with recent studies suggesting that ASD symptoms are caused by neurological damage, likely induced by an inflammatory process, triggered by high levels of mercury in the body.
It is well known that Mercury is a neurotoxin and that it induces inflammatory mediator release from human mast cells, which is a type of white blood cell that are part of the immune and neuroimmune Systems. If mast cells release many granules rich in histamine and heparin, this is a clear sign of an allergic response to foreign allergens.
Interestingly, in a National Survey of Children’s Health, parents of autistic children reported more symptoms of allergies than those of healthy control children. Food allergies were the most prevalent complaint. The findings of yet another study discussed that fact that people diagnosed with Autism have mast cell numbers 10 fold than of the normal population, hence their predisposition to various allergies.
Mercury toxicity, abnormal mast cells and Allergies – The LINK
Humans are exposed, in the environment to Methylmercury, which is formed from inorganic mercury, present in lakes, rivers, wetlands, sediments, soils, the open ocean, certain products and certain vaccines.
In light of previous studies proving that Autism sufferers have an abnormal amount of mast cells released, a 2010 paper discussed findings of an investigation on the effect of inorganic mercuric chloride
(HgCl2) on human mast cell activation.
The results confirmed what previous studies were suggesting, Mercury starts an allergic process via affecting mast cells to react abnormally. The concentrations of inorganic mercury needed to trigger this process are extremely low, as only 0.1 μM or 0.001 Millimeter is needed.
How else Mercury damages the body ?
It is common knowledge that mercury can cross the blood brain barrier. Which is a membrane separating the blood from the cerebrospinal fluid, and constituting a barrier to the passage of cells, particles, and large molecules.
• Activates the abnormal release of mast cells causing an allergic process, and
• Triggers mast cells to induce the abnormal release of two important proteins, which are called : Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6 )
As a result, not only mercury affects the body causing allergies, but it also causes over expression of VEGF cells are linked to neurodegenation, motoneuron degeneration, cancer, ischemia, and inflammation. This is discussed in depth in the paper VEGF: a critical player in neurodegeneration.