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Genetic predisposition to the methylmercury neurotoxicity from fish intake

Study of CREAL and Harvard School of Public Health, published in Epidemiology,

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Genetic predisposition to the methylmercury neurotoxicity from fish intake
A study of CREAL and Harvard School of Public Health, published in Epidemiology, says that methylmercury from fish consumption during pregnancy can provoke a negative effect on neurodevelopment of children.

A study led by CREAL, from the ISGlobal Alliance, and the Harvard School of Public Health has found that methylmercury consumed during pregnancy has no effect on the neurodevelopment of 8-years children living in a region with a low consumption of fish, unless they have a genetic predisposition. However, it was found that 30% of these children have this type of bias, due to their vulnerability to mercury toxicity.

In order to extract these findings, researchers have counted with 1,135 8-years children of Bristol (United Kingdom) since age is "ideal" for neuropsychological tests, together with the analysis of this pollutant through their umbilical cords.

Specifically, the researchers measured the level of methylmercury, taking into account that 90% of the mercury takes the fish is methylmercury and is the most toxic.

Jordi Julvez, CREAL researcher, centre of the CERCA, and author of the study, explains that "we are now in a second phase of data replication with a total of 2,400 children to confirm the findings."

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