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From the international Amalgam Mailing list :
+++++ Mercury Poisoning from Dental Amalgam +++++
Homepage at www.melisa.org
MELISA (MEmory Lymphocyte ImmunoStimulation Assay), is an optimized
lymphocyte stimulation test.
Foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses but also chemicals and
metals, leave a mark imprinted on the surface of small lymphocytes
following the exposure of subjects who are immunologically reacting to
High-molecular antigens such as proteins, bacteria and viruses will induce
immune responses in all exposed individuals with intact immune system. Such
protective immune responses result in the formation of memory lymphocytes
(so called cellular immunity) but also in the formation of different serum
antibodies.Antibodies are produced by B-cells (another type of lymphocyte).
However, only genetically sensitive subjects will immunologically respond
to low-molecular substances (less than 2000 daltons), such as chemicals
(formaldehyde, chloramin T, isothiazolidones) and metals (mercurials,
nickel, gold, palladium etc). In this case, the immune reaction is driven
mostly by T-lymphocytes and is not protective but pathologic. No antibodies
are usually detected and the reaction is delayed for 1-2 days,-that's why
this type is called delayed-type hypersensitivity (DH).
In vitro blood test, MELISA will give you an objective answer if your
immune system was exposed and if it reacted to above-mentioned allergens.
The lymphocytes are isolated from venous blood and cultivated with metal
salts or any other chemicals we are interested in.
If immunological memory is present, memory lymphocytes start to react with
the specific allergen, grow and consequently divide.
The division can be measured by the addition of radioactively labeled
nucleotide which will be incorporated into nuclear material of growing
cell. At the end of culture, DNA(deoxyribonucleic acid) is harvested and
the radioactivity measured in the counter.In parallell, the stimulated
memory cells, so called lymphoblasts, can be seen on morphologic smears
under the light microscope.
As far as I know, the immunological side-effects induced by metals such as
nickel, gold, mercury etc are DH-type.
Let me share with you the story told today by a young female patient with
This was the second time I met her and we will run Follow-up MELISA. From
the beginning she had only very few small amalgams in oral cavity. After
the removal of first amalgam she got a relaps of he MS and she did not
dared to continue amalgam removal.
A physician I cooperate with have sent her to me in december 1998.
MELISA has shown the reactivity to inorganic mercury and some other metals
such as nickel. She has also reacted to Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) in vitro.
Her physician recommended a dentist well aware of the risks with amalgam
removal in sensitized patients. She got all possible precautions such as
minerals, vitamins, C-vitamin (not infusion),and steroids 1 week prior and
one week after the dental treatment.
At the second dental visit, in april, only one amalgam (touching pulpa) was
removed. Following things happened: The following day she experienced
flue-like symptoms, abnormal tiredness, worsening of her sound sensitivity,
neurastenia. Her left arm went limp.
She started B12 injections, each second day. Gradually her symptoms
diminished , she become more active and could do "one thing each day". At
the beginning of June, feeling great, she got a courage and went to the
dentist again. In this time, 2 small amalgams, on the same side, were
removed. The side-effects repeated themselves-flue-like symptoms,
tiredness, weakness in the arm, hypersensitivity to sound etc.
Explanation? Chronic activation of immune system in this case by metal
ions from amalgam resulted in the uppregulation of
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis(HPA axis) and triggering of
multisymptoms characterizing CFS, MCS, MS and other polysymptomatic
diseases. Abnormal tiredness and signs of depression are well recognized in
MS but also in other neurologic diseases.There may have been also direct
toxic effects involved.
In my mind, there is no uncertainity about a causal relationship between
the metal exposure and worsening of symptoms in our young MS patient. There
is a good prognosis as well but she has to avoid metal exposure as much as
My question is: we have both plausible theory and possibility of the
objective measurement for the screening of patients at risk for
metal-induced pathology.We could perform prospective clinical studies
proving definitely that metals may be risk factors in autoimmunity not
only in mouse and rat but also in man.
My question is: where do we find creative, curious and daring neurologists
to conduct such a study?