No Link Between Mercury Fillings
And Alzheimer's - New Study
The New University of Kentucky study found there appears to be no harm from mercury fillings. "Although very small amounts of mercury are released from dental amalgam - generally when rubbed or abraded due to brushing or eating - it is not taken up by the brain," said Dr. Stanley Saxe, one of the authors of the study published in Monday's Journal of the American Dental Association. Saxe is a professor emeritus of periodontics and geriatric dentistry in the UK College of Dentistry. Dental amalgam has been used since the early 1830s and receives high marks for its strength and durability. But amalgam is composed of 50 percent mercury, a neurotoxin, causing controversy over its possible public health risk. Some dentists have encouraged patients to have their amalgam fillings removed and replaced by other tooth restoration materials. The researchers began their study in 1991, funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. They examined the brains of 68 people with Alzheimer's and a control group of 33 who were not affected. Zaven Khachaturian, former director of Alzheimer,s research at NIH, said the question about a possible Alzheimers-mercury connection has been around for a long time. "The finding by the Kentucky group, I think, is quite significant for the Alzheimer's constituency and their families, to at least alleviate some of the concerns they have," said Khachaturian now retired senior consultant to the Alzheimer's Association.
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