Article

Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Maternal Rh-Negativity, and Rho(D) Immune Globulins: A Multi-Center Assessment

The Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., Silver Spring, MD 20905, USA.
Neuro endocrinology letters (Impact Factor: 0.94). 05/2008; 29(2):272-80.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many formulations of Thimerosal (49.55% mercury by weight)-containing Rho(D) immune globulins (TCRs) were routinely administered to Rh-negative mothers in the US prior to 2002.
It was hypothesized: (1) if prenatal Rho(D)-immune globulin preparation exposure was a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) then more children with NDs would have Rh-negative mothers compared to controls; and (2) if Thimerosal in the Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations was the ingredient associated with NDs, following the removal of Thimerosal from all manufactured Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations from 2002 in the US the frequency of maternal Rh-negativity among children with NDs should be similar to control populations.
Maternal Rh-negativity was assessed at two sites (Clinic A-Lynchburg, VA; Clinic B-Rockville and Baltimore, MD) among 298 Caucasian children with NDs and known Rh-status. As controls, maternal Rh-negativity frequency was determined from 124 Caucasian children (born 1987-2001) without NDs at Clinic A, and the Rh-negativity frequency was determined from 1,021 Caucasian pregnant mothers that presented for prenatal genetic care at Clinic B (1980-1989). Additionally, 22 Caucasian patients with NDs born from 2002 onwards (Clinics A and B) were assessed for maternal Rh-negativity.
There were significant and comparable increases in maternal Rh-negativity among children with NDs (Clinic: A=24.2%), autism spectrum disorders (Clinic: A=28.3%, B=25.3%), and attention-deficit-disorder/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (Clinic: A=26.3%) observed at both clinics in comparison to both control groups (Clinic: A=12.1%, B=13.9%) employed. Children with NDs born post-2001 had a maternal Rh-negativity frequency (13.6%) similar to controls.
This study associates TCR exposure with some NDs in children.

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    • "Another study evaluated the potential adverse effects of prenatal Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing Rho(D)-immune globulins routinely administered to Rh-negative mothers in the USA prior to 2002 (Geier et al. 2008b). It was hypothesized: (1) if prenatal Rho(D)-immune globulin preparation exposure was a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders, then more children with neurodevelopmental disorders would have Rh-negative mothers compared to controls; and (2) if thimerosal in the Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations was the ingredient associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, then following the removal of thimerosal from all manufactured Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations in 2002, the US frequency of maternal Rh negativity among children with neurodevelopmental disorders should be similar to control populations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), also known as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in early childhood. Male children are disproportionately diagnosed with an ASD. Mercury (Hg), a heavy metal, is widespread and persistent in the environment. Mercury is a ubiquitous source of danger in fish, drugs, fungicides/herbicides, dental fillings, thermometers, and many other products. Elevated Hg concentrations may remain in the brain from several years to decades following exposure. This is important because investigators have long recognized that, among its detrimental health effects, Hg is a neurodevelopmental toxicant. It is known to cause problems in neuronal cell migration and division and can ultimately cause cell degeneration and death. Case reports of patients have described developmental regressions with symptoms of an ASD following fetal and/or early childhood Hg exposure. Epidemiological studies have linked exposure to Hg with an elevated risk of a patient being diagnosed with an ASD. Immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with an ASD were reported following Hg intoxication with similarities to an ASD diagnosis that extend to the subject’s neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, and biochemistry.
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    • "In addition, Geier, Mumper, Gladfelter, Coleman, and Geier (2008) found that prenatal exposure to Thimerosal (49.55% Hg by weight)-containing Rho(D) immune globulins was associated with an increased risk of ASD and ADHD. A more recent study in 118 Inuit children found that children exposed to higher levels of mercury or lead are three to five times more likely to be identified by teachers as having problems associated with ADHD (Boucher et al., 2010). "
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    • "A series of recent epidemiological studies found a significant relationship between Hg exposure from routinely administered Thimerosal-containing drugs (vaccines and Rho(D)-immune globulin preparations) and an increasing risk for autism and other neurodevelopmental delays (Geier and Geier 2006a, 2006c, 2007c; Geier et al. 2008; Marques et al., in press; Young et al., in press). It was also reported in clinical studies that the greater and the earlier a child's cumulative exposure to Hg from Thimerosal-containing vaccines and biologics, the more clinically severe the AD (Geier and Geier 2007a). "
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