Thiomersal and Autism



Ibrahim Al- Ghaweel 1, Irene Joel 2, Joel Prashant Jack 2

1-Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine 2-Department of Environment, Faculty of Public Health, Al- Arab Medical Sciences University Benghazi, Libya

JMJ 2009,Vol.9, No.1:19-24


Autistic spectrum disorder(ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with one in 66 children in United States currently have an autistic disorder and one in 6 children have a developmental or behavioural disorder. Genetic and environmental factors seem to be involved in the expression of the disease. Concern has been expressed over the possibility that the mercury containing compound thimerosal in vaccines may cause autism. It was hypothesized that children with autism have a decreased detoxification capacity due to genetic polymorphism. In vitro, mercury and thimerosal in levels found several days after vaccination inhibit methionine synthetase1(MS) by 50%. Normal function of MS is crucial in biochemical steps necessary for brain development, attention and production of glutathione; an important antioxidative and detoxifying agent. Autistic children have significantly decreased levels of reduced glutathione; Treatment of some cases of autism may involve detoxification of mercury and supplementation of deficient metabolites.

Keywords: Austic spectrum disorder(ASD), Thiomersal, Methionine synthetase(MS), Glutathione, Thiomersal containing vaccines(TCVs).