From: Boyd E. Haley To: <CFMRemail@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 3:00 PM
Subject: Re: [CFMR} Alzheimers Society's Position on Dental Amalgam
Friends: This is an E-mail that I sent to Barbara Snelgrove in reply to
her response that their is no relationship between amalgams and AD.
Dear Barbara: We do not know each other and I don't know what your
occupation or background is. However, I was sent an e-mail where you
stated that there was no connection between mercury and Alzheimer's
I agree that no connection has been made since studies in this area have
for the most part been avoided. The only one I know of was so poorly
That it has no credibility in the scientific community. However, I
believe that there is a connection between AD and mercury exposure as I
First, research from my laboratory, published in highly respected
research journals demonstrates the following:
1. Both beta-tubulin and creatine kinase are dramatically inhibited in
AD brain. This is also supported by publications from other
2. Adding low micromolar mercury to non-AD brain causes the rapid and
specific inhibition of these two proteins mimicking the effects observed
in AD brain. This inhibiton by mercury would be expected by any
competent biochemist as the literature would support this happening.
3. We exposed rats to mercury vapor for 4 hours a day for 4 weeks at
levels of mercury that would be expected in someone with extensive
amalgam fillings. This exposure caused a major decrease in tubulin
viability, similar as observed in AD brain.
4. Amalgams leak mercury, this is a fact that any chemistry department
can confirm. We have made amalgam fillings outside of the mouth, placed
these fillings in sterile water for 15 minutes to several hours.
We then tested this water for toxicity to tubulin and creatine kinase.
The result was that the solutions in which amalgams were soaked (even
for 15 minutes) were extremely toxic. Results using these solutions
were identical to those with addition of mercury solutions to the
brain. This work is also supported by reports doing similar experiments
at the University of Michigan
Dental School where they described solutions in which amalgams were
soaked as being "extremely cytotoxic".
Additional support by others for mercury exacerbating or being a major
contributor for AD is as follows:
5. The form of APO-E protein that is a major risk factor for AD is the
one that has lost much, if not all, of its ability to bind mercury in
the cerebrospinal fluid giving reduced protection against mercury
(especially) and other oxidant heavy metals. The APO-E protein that
affords the best protection against AD is the one that would bind and
the very best.
6. This year in the Journal of Neurochemistry a report came out that
showed that the exposure of neuroblastoma cells in culture to nanomolar
levels of mercury (much lower than is found in brain) lead to the
"hyperphosphorylation of a protein called Tau" and to greatly increased
secretion of "beta amyloid protein---the protein that makes up amyloid
or 'senile' plaques". Senile plaques are the "diagnostic hallmark of
AD" and projected by many as being causal of AD.
7. Dr. Lorscheider, my collaborator in mercury research, has submitted
an article where a neuron in culture was exposed to 0.1 nanomolar
mercury and filmed through a microscope. The result was that the axon
broke open and the tubulin and tubulin associated proteins abnormally
aggregated into a body that was "indistinguishable from a neurofibillary
tangle" the second "diagnostic hallmark" of AD on pathology.
If mercury causes neurons to produce the "diagnostic hallmark" then
shouldn't mercury be consider causal or contributory to this disease??
Especially when most Americans of age 50 plus have had amalgams in their
mouths for scores of years or greater! Also, I am the Chair of a
Department of Chemistry and it is exceeding easy to measure mercury
escape from a dental amalgam and I can tell you that it is excessive if
related to any measure of safe exposure levels. The risk assessment
expert for Health Canada on doing an assessment on mercury exposure for
Canadians told me that the amount of mercury exposure from industrial
produced mercury was much less that that coming from dental amalgams.
We cannot do the experiments that would prove amalgams do or do not
contribute to AD. There are just to many confounding factors associated
with human behavior. I believe in going to the bottom line-do amalgams
toxic levels of mercury and I have proven that they do. Ask anyone in
the "pro-amalgam field" to give you a research article that shows that
amalgams do not leak toxic levels of mercury and they will provide you
with opinion papers stating that amalgams are safe. These papers are
different from research papers in that they do not present actual
experimental protocols that can be tested. Invariabely, they will say
only an "insignificant amount of mercury is released" or something to
that effect. Ask them to put a scientific value on this insignificant
amount (like how many micrograms/cm2 of mercury is released per day).
This has been reported and it was 43.5 micrograms/cm2/day and remained
constant for 2 years. No one has claimed this report was wrong and this
is a very toxic level of mercury.
Also, it was collected in a test tube with no additional heat, pressure
or galvanism on the amalgam which would occur in the mouth and greatly
increase the level of mercury released.
I strongly believe that having dental amalgams in ones mouth for scores
of years increases the risk for AD. Mercury would at the very least be
an exacerbating toxic exposure. I believe this because I read the
literature and do research in this area. Is there direct proof?--no
But there is also no proof that amalgams do not contribute and 'absence
of proof is not proof of absence'. However, the bottom line is that
amalgams make both water and saliva toxic by increasing the mercury
levels and this would place excess stress on those humans who are
unfortunate enough to be genetically susceptible to AD or mercury
toxicity. I hope you know that AD is not a directly inherited disease
and that some form of 'toxic or infective insult' is needed to cause the
onset of the disease.
Finally, I know that you can find numerous dentists and physicians that
will say amalgams are not a risk factor for AD---see if you can find one
that will debate me publically after allowing me to present a short
scientific talk on the subject. I feel like I have been in an 8 year
argument with a town drunk on this issue.
Sincerely, Boyd Haley, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry,
University of Kentucky
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