What I intend to do is point out a number of well known facts about autism and mercury toxicity which are totally inconsistent with the hypothesis. At the very least, there are no mercury toxicity-based theories that attempt to explain them.
- There's no mechanism by which mercury could cause savant skills to emerge.
- The most severe symptoms of mercury poisoning include such things as kidney damage, burning mouth, and perspiration. These are not symptoms of autism, even in a minority of cases.
- Mercury poisoning cannot account for neuroanatomical differences observed in early childhood, such as white and grey matter volume differences, increased head circumference, and differences in neuron size and density.
- Mercury poisoning cannot account for increased false memory discrimination, information processing advantages, and other cognitive differences that have been documented.
- It has been hypothesized that autistic children have a genetic liability in their body's mercury metabolism, having to do with the APO-E4 protein. This, however, would mean that a good portion of the siblings and parents of autistic children who had been themselves vaccinated with thimerosal should also be autistic. This is not the case. In fact, twin and sibling studies suggest that a single genetic variation is not sufficient to cause autism.
- Additionally, several different alleles have been linked to autism, and these are prevalent in the general population. None of the alleles that have come up in genome-wide scans are related to mercury disposal in any way.
- Objectively diagnosable conditions which look like autism have a purely genetic etiology. These include Fragile-X, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Rett Syndrome.
- There are no reports of adult autistics running to get chelated, and some of them are OK with their autism, which would seem to be a strange way to experience being poisoned.
This, of course, does not mean that the symptoms of autism couldn't be amplified by a small amount of mercury poisoning, or that some diagnosed cases may be caused by mercury poisoning. But it is unethical and scientifically ludicrous to say that autism and mercury poisoning are the same thing. It is also silly to suggest that chelation is an autism treatment, as it does nothing other than treat heavy metal toxicity. And it is just wrong to diagnose and label a child or an adult as mercury poisoned without any medical tests to back up the assertion.