Environmental factors can play an important role in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) and other autoimmune diseases. This article reviews the role of heavy metals and infectious agents in AT. Memory T lymphocytes can be used as biomarkers of susceptibility to mercury and other inflammation triggers in individual patients. If metal allergy is found, the patient should avoid all exposure to the allergenic substance. Mercury-allergic patients may benefit from replacement of dental amalgam.
Inorganic mercury (mercuric chloride—HgCl2) induces in mice an autoimmune syndrome (HgIA). Hg may interact directly with fibrillarin/fibrillarin peptides causing a physically altered molecule which is immunogenic. Additionally, Hg-induced cell death (necrosis) might modify the cleavage pattern for fibrillarin, resulting in neo-peptides of fibrillarin which expose immunogenic epitopes to T cells.
Our immune system is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders. At the core of the immune system is the ability to tell the difference between self and nonself: A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and nonself. When this happens, the body makes autoantibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided attack on your own body.
Scientific literature indicates a risk for metal-induced autoimmunity in man. Metal pathology may be due to toxic or allergic mechanisms or both may play a role. The main factors decisive for disease induced by metals are exposure and genetics which determine the individual detoxifying capacity and sensitivity to metals. We review the possible mechanisms which may play a role in metal-induced autoimmunity with the emphasis on multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Exposure to heavy metals has been associated to a higher incidence of multiple sclerosis. We present a possible relationship between serum mercury levels and development of multiple sclerosis. Serum mercury level in MS patients was significantly higher than controls. Concerning all MS patients, serum mercury value was significantly higher than the mercury concentration founded in control subjects. It may reveal that high mercury levels in serum might help MS development in susceptible individuals.
Mercuryexposure.info was created and is maintained by consumers injured from exposure to mercury vapor and particles released by their dental amalgam fillings during placement, polishing, removal and day to day use. We are dedicated to providing accurate, up to date information on the many facets of dental mercury amalgam fillings.