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THE NATION; Study Finds Genetic Link Between Autism, Vaccines; A preservative once common in inoculations affected only one strain of lab mice, possibly explaining the mixed results of past studies.
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Studies; Mercury; Autism; Vaccines; Genetics
Author: Maugh, Thomas H, II
Date: Jun 9, 2004
Start Page: A.14
Section: Main News; Part A; National Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

The mercury preservative used in some vaccines can cause behavioral abnormalities in newborn mice characteristic of autism, but only in mice with a specific genetic susceptibility, Columbia University researchers report today.

The fact that the preservative, called thimerosal, had an effect on only one strain of mice could explain why researchers had found it so difficult to prove or disprove a link to autism.

[Mady Hornig] and her colleagues studied four strains of mice, including one strain -- called SJL/L -- in which mercury had previously been shown to stimulate autoimmune disorders.

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