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Study Links Vaccine Ingredient to Autism in Mice

Wed Jun 9, 2004 06:24 PM ET

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study of specially bred mice suggests that a mercury preservative in vaccines could potentially cause some of the brain changes in autism, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The publication of the study gives fuel to an alliance of environmentalists, parents of children with autism, anti-vaccine advocates and politicians who say they will continue to fight to prove that vaccines can cause autism in susceptible children.

But experts who issued a report last month saying there was no link between vaccines and autism said they had already seen the study and rejected it.

Dr. Mady Hornig of Columbia University in New York said her study shows the possibility that a genetic predisposition could leave certain children vulnerable to a range of toxins in vaccines, including a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5386673