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No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found

No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (Credit: © Yoram Astrakhan / Fotolia)

“This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center‘s (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study which appears online today in the journal Epidemiology. “These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors.”

The debate over fish consumption has long created a dilemma for expecting mothers and physicians. Fish are high in beneficial nutrients such as, selenium, vitamin E, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; the latter are essential to brain development. At the same time, exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to lead to developmental problems, leading to the claim that mothers are exposing their unborn children to serious neurological impairment by eating fish during pregnancy. Despite the fact that the developmental consequences of low level exposure remain unknown, some organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of fish.

“The Seychelles study was designed to follow a population over a very long period of time and focus on relevant mercury exposure,” said Philip Davidson, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in Pediatrics at URMC. “While the amount of fish consumed in the Seychelles is significantly higher than other countries in the industrialized world, it is still considered low level exposure.”

… lends further evidence to an emerging belief that the “good” may outweigh the possible “bad” when it comes to fish consumption during pregnancy. Specifically, if mercury does adversely influence child development at these levels of exposure then the benefits of the nutrients found in the fish may counteract or perhaps even supersede the potential negative effects of the mercury.

“This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury level that were six to ten times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe,” said Davidson. “This is a sentinel population and if it does not exist here than it probably does not exist.”

Read entire article at ScienceDaily.

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‎”If someone started telling stories about how my…”

‎”If someone started telling stories about how my gender was controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist automatons, I would be outraged. I would explain in very small, very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself. I wish more men would speak up to say ‘actually, even when I can’t turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won’t bother anyone.’”

Bonnie Sparks’s fundraising page for NaNoWriMo 2012 Author Sponsorship | StayClassy.org

Dear Friends, Family, and Righteous Supporters,

This November, I’m writing a novel. An entire novel, started from scratch, and completed in just one month, as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

And you thought nothing interesting ever happened in November.

NaNoWriMo is free. I’m raising money to help the nonprofit that runs it build communities in classrooms, coffee shops, libraries, and living rooms all over the world and help the inspiration flow for me and thousands of my fellow novelists.

Every dollar I raise will keep my spirits high as I write my way towards the realization of my creative goals. More importantly, your contribution will help The Office of Letters and Light build a more engaged and inspiring world.

Thank you so much for your support of my writing! I’ll be posting updates on my novel and fundraising on my sponsorship page throughout the month.

As a Thank You: Every sponsor that donates $5 or more will receive a digital copy of my book when I finish it and, if I get it published at a later date, you’ll be included in the thank yous in my book. Just make sure you use a valid email when donating (one you use regularly too) so I can contact you when it’s all over.

Here’s more details about what I’m writing.

Bonnie Sparks - author - NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

via Bonnie Sparks’s fundraising page for NaNoWriMo 2012 Author Sponsorship | StayClassy.org.

Hey Fiver and Not Writing, or Writing Update « Bonnie Sparks Writes

That would have been my first write-in, had I attended. I’m prone to panic attacks, have social phobia, high anxiety, and haven’t been coping with social isolation lately, so had two panic attacks in the morning. Needless to say, I didn’t get in the building! I did make it, at least to out front. After being exhausted and losing the ability to make decisions (it happens when I’m hit with anxiety and have a panic attack)

via Hey Fiver and Not Writing, or Writing Update « Bonnie Sparks Writes.

 

 

Me too. Except I didn’t even make out my front door. The library hosting write-in I wanted to attend isn’t that far away, but it’s also at night and I’m not doing well being out by myself at night these days. Just thinking about trying a nighttime walk makes me tremble. Plus I should have roughly upwards of 6,000+ words by now — I’ve got zero. Ugh. I can’t seem to focus on weaving my plot threads together into a coherent story, let alone start writing it out.  The more I try to get into the storytelling frame of mind, the more distracted I get.

46/365  - [ughh..overload!]

Keep Calm…

Keep Calm, And When In Doubt, Go To The Library - keep-calm-hp-tumblr-.com

“You’re the cleverest witch of your age I’ve ever met, Hermione.”

Sharing Is Caring

http://wegivebooks.org

“We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don’t have them, simply by reading online.
We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.
We Give Books also helps some of the world’s best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support.”

http://wegivebooks.org 

 

Fictional, yet intensely vivid. In my mind’s eye I can see this little girl watching the world around her.

 

Tanushree Srivastava

She walks like the wind and speaks like a bird. She looks timid and physically challenged, but to her she is the queen of her slums. She passes along the huts that are dripping with water from the rain last night. Ladies are sitting outside their huts on the wet ground to get some fresh air. Black smoke from some huts fills the air indicating the preparation of lunch. Everyone recognizes her and pass her an occasional greeting. Her parents named her ‘Shehzadi’ , which means ‘the queen’. She loves to play with the little plastic bag that she carries around wherever she goes. Her little frock has innumerable patches and her hands are full of broken stuff that some rich kid had thrown away in trash. Her eyes are full of hope for a better future; her heart tells her that these days won’t last long. One day she…

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