Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Alzheimer's autism connection

It has been postulated that mercury might cause Alzheimer's. It has also been postulated that mercury might cause autism. What if Alzheimer's is the same as autism, and the only difference is that Alzheimer's is inflicted on those with advancing age, and autism is inflicted on the young? I thought about that while reading an article in Science Magazine that stated that a test for Alzheimer's has been approved that uses the varying forms (alleles) of ApoE as markers for Alzheimer's risk.

The question is asked whether it is a good thing to know about your prospects of developing Alzheimer's. If the gene for ApoE 4/4 is the genetic marker for early onset Alzheimer's and signifies a very high risk for a person to develop the disease, and ApoE 2/2 is likely to protect a person from that devastating outcome, wouldn't the knowledge of having the bad gene give impetus for finding a way to either possibly change the environment to keep the gene from exerting its devastating influence or work on a future (genetically engineered) substance to improve a person's outcome? It is known that ApoE has three expressions: ApoE 2, ApoE 3, and ApoE 4 (those are enzymes). The difference between the three versions is how much sulfur is attached to each. The good version contains the most sulfur. The bad version doesn't contain any. It is known that mercury loves sulfur.

Autism and Alzheimer's might be caused by mercury poisoning. Carrying the thought a little further, it is known that those ApoEnzymes are the only enzymes that can transport mercury out of the brain so it can be excreted.

Since these enzymes are genetically already in the baby at conception, one might wonder if mercury might not be the reason for autism in a child with an ApoE 4 gene? Going on from here, wouldn't it be good to know whether a baby has the bad gene so that the mother can be more vigilant? The mother might keep her child away from mercury, i.e. her own mercury-amalgams, eating fish, getting flu shots without mercury, or any other mercury exposure.

Oh yes, and Alzheimer's, one might stay away from mercury in order not to get Alzheimer's.


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