Archived | Autism Speaks: Effect of Mercury on Apoptosis of Neuronal Cells | Circa 2007 #NotAnAutisticAlly

Effect of Mercury on Apoptosis of Neuronal Cells 

Leman Yel, M.D., University of California, Irvine

Grant abstract:

Organic mercury compounds are known to be toxic mainly to the nervous system. Recently, the similarities between the neurological findings in mercury exposure and autism have come to attention.

It has been estimated that children are exposed to a quantity of mercury that exceeds the safety guidelines in the first two years of life through thimerosal (ethylmercury salicylate) in vaccines. And, a strong association between the administration of certain vaccinations and the onset of autistic manifestations has been noted.

Autism is a multi-factorial disease in the pathogenesis of which genetic, immunological, and environmental factors play a role. Brain biopsies from autistic children show degeneration and a loss of neuronal cells without any evidence of inflammation that is consistent with an apoptotic (programmed cell death) process.

Mercury accumulates in the mitochondria and disrupts cell energetics. It has been shown to induce apoptosis by causing mitochondrial dysfunction in lymphocytes. No study has been published on the apoptotic effect of mercury in the nervous system. We hypothesize that mercury induces apoptosis in neuronal cells and this effect is mainly via the mitochondrial pathway. This might be more pronounced in children with autism because of genetic susceptibility.

Thus, apoptosis due to mercury exposure may contribute to the pathogenesis of autism. Therefore, we intend to examine the effect of thimerosal on apoptosis induction and the signaling steps of mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in neuronal cells.

The results would clarify the effect of a mercury compound in neuronal cell death and degeneration, and provide a better understanding of the potential role of mercury exposure in the pathogenesis of autism.

Paper from the study

Yel L, Brown LE, Su K, Gollapudi S, Gupta S. Thimerosal induces neuronal cell apoptosis by causing cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor release from mitochondria. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Dec;16(6):971-7. PMID: 16273274

To understand what role thimerosal might play in the onset of autistic symptoms, it is important to understand the effects of thimerosal on cells. This study examined the effects of thimerosal at different doses on neuroblastoma (cancer) cells, finding that thimerosal caused cell death even at very low doses. The study is suggestive that thimerosal can have deleterious effects on cell viability. Further study will be needed to determine if similar effects are seen with other types of cells and within living organisms. However, the findings from this type of study are an important basis for understanding how environmental factors such as mercury may play a role in triggering autism, and which biological processes they impact.

Vaccines Do Not cause autism

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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