"Although succimer may slow the increase in blood mercury concentrations, such small changes seem unlikely to produce any clinical benefit," Rogan said. He and his colleagues had reported in an earlier paper that succimer has few adverse side effects, mostly rashes, and an unexplained increase in injuries in children given succimer rather than placebo.
The subjects of the study did not have unusually high blood mercury concentrations for African-American children and the study did not investigate where the mercury in the children came from.
"This research fills a gap in the scientific literature that could not be addressed any other way. We were fortunate to have samples already collected from toddlers who had been treated with succimer for lead poisoning allowing us to help answer this important question," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program.
Birnbaum noted NIH's commitment to supporting research that provides critically needed information that will help drive more prevention and treatment options for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
|Contact: Robin Mackar|
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences