Why does the Alzheimer’s Association ignore mercury as a causal factor in Alzheimer’s Disease ?


It is odd and unsettling that an organization, which spends millions of dollars for Alzheimer’s research has never spent a dime looking at one of the most potent neutoxins that 120+ million americans are exposed to every single day in doses that exceed government levels of safety. I can’t help but wonder why the Alzheimer’s Association chooses to ignore mercury as a causal factor in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

The Alzheimer’s Association (AA) has a special section on their website entitled “MYTHS” to suppossedly debunk rumors of causes and treatments AD. By using misleading semantics, they label the connection (increase of risk) between “silver” fillings (which release mercury) a “myth” as a causal factor in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read on to understand how the three outdated references the Alzheimer’s Assocaition use as the basis for their assertion are not worthy of such prominence and promotion.

alz_assoc_orgThe Alzheimer’s Association states….

Myth 7: Silver dental fillings increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Reality:According to the best available scientific evidence, there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer’s. The concern that there could be a link arose because “silver” fillings are made of an amalgam (mixture) that typically contains about 50 percent mercury, 35 percent silver and 15 percent tin. Mercury is a heavy metal that, in certain forms, is know to be toxic to the brain and other organs.

Many scientists consider the studies below compelling evidence that dental amalgam is not a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Public health agencies, including the FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization, endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive material for dental restorations.

March 1991, the Dental Devices Panel of the FDA concluded there was no current evidence that amalgam poses any danger.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991 funded a study at the University of Kentucky to investigate the relationship between amalgam fillings and Alzheimer’s. Analysis by University statisticians revealed no significant association between silver fillings and Alzheimer’s. The abstract for this study is posted on the Journal of the American Dental Association Web site.

October 30, 2003, a New England Journal of Medicine article concluded that current evidence shows no connection between mercury-containing dental fillings and Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. The abstract for this study is posted on the New England Journal of Medicine Web site.

alz-assoc“Myth 7: “Silver dental fillings increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease”


It is important to be aware of how the AA continually frames their statements to downplay the facts at hand. Take for example how the Alzheimer’s Association has worded the title of this particular “myth”. Also of note is that the AA does not say outright, that it is a myth “Mercury” increases risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. As that would be a foolish statment in light of the mountain of scientific evidence pointing to mercury as a potent neurotoxin.

According to a 2005 Zogby poll, 76% of those surveyed did not know that mercury is the primary content (50%) of amalgam dental fillings. The impact on the reader is dramatically reduced if one references amalgam fillings as “silver” oppossed to the widely known neurotoxic mercury. To the layperson, the validity of this title would seem to make sense. But the wording of the title speaks volumes, as they are implying there is no relationship between AD and mercury (a known neurotoxin that causes many similar symptoms and biological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease) When put in the proper context, this statement is simply misleading.

alz-assoc“Reality: According to the best available scientific evidence, there is no
relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer’s.”


The statement that “there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer’s” is meant to instill confidence in the reader that “science” has looked at this relationship and determined there is no link, because surely the Alzheimer’s Association would tell us if there were a link. But the facts bear a much different analysis.

In order for there to be a relationship (increase of risk) between mercury and AD several criteria must first be met.

1. Mercury must be able to cause similar symptoms as seen in AD such as memory loss, irritability, anxity, depression, emotional and physical outbursts. Which it does.

2. Mercury must also be able to reproduce the biochemical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease, such as elevated amyloid protein, hyper-phosphorylation of Tau, and formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Which it does

3. Enough people must be exposed to mercury for a great length of time for symptoms to come about. Since about 95% of all AD cases are triggered by exogenic factors and the disease is now pandemic in developed countries, the main exogenic factor should be present since about 50 years in many people, both in rural and in urban sites. This matches with the rising use of dental amalgam after World War II 50 years ago. People from all over the world are exposed to mercury vapor (and particles) from dental mercury fillings for upwards of 50 years depending upon how long they have them.


Boyd Haley PhD
explains the History of Alzheimer’s and Mercury

So to state “according the best available scientific evidence, there is no relationship” is a misleading way to frame the issue as it ignores a vast body of published science that has found the contrary (as discussed in studies section below).

Boyd Haley P.h.D. gives a brief overview of the history of Alzheimer’s disease and how the increased use in amalgam coincides with the rise in Alzheimer’s disease.

He writes: “consider that in the early 1900s the average life expectancy of most Americans was about 50 years of age and most of them could not afford dental fillings. Fifty to sixty years is much less than the average age of onset of AD. Further, amalgams became more available to most working class Americans after World War II, or in the early 1950s. The greatest increase in the use of amalgam occurred at about this time and these ‘baby boomers are the great ongoing amalgam experiment’. They are now reaching the age where AD appears and have lived most of their lives carrying amalgam fillings.”

alz-assocThe concern that there could be a link arose because “silver” fillings are made of an amalgam (mixture) that typically contains about 50 percent mercury, 35 percent silver and 15 percent tin. Mercury is a heavy metal that, in certain forms, is know to be toxic to the brain and other organs.


Through their wording the Alzheimer’s Association implies that the type of mercury released from dental amalgam is not the type of mercury that is toxic. It is uncontested that all forms of mercury are toxic, to say other wise does not correspond with what has been firmly established and is widely accepted in the scientific community.


Mark Richardson P.h.D. previously of Health Canada
explains the amalgam risk assessment
he presented to the FDA

Mark Richardson PhD, who has published the only true amalgam risk assesment for the USA, based off data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), states in his study.

“It is now accepted that dental amalgam continuously releases Hg0 which results in exposure in those persons possessing fillings composed of this material (USFDA, 2009). The quantity of Hg0 released from amalgam is often referred to as ‘minute’ (ADA, 2008b; CDA, 2005) or ‘very small’ (AGD, 2007).

However, it is not the dose itself that determines safety, it is how that dose compares to levels considered ‘safe’ or without anticipated harm that determines whether or not the dose is significant with respect to health concern. Irrespective of quantity, aminute dose can present a risk if the substance is sufficiently toxic and received in sufficient dose to exceed a reference level considered ‘safe’.

Dental amalgam has been identified as the largest single source of continuous Hg exposure for members of the general population who possess amalgam fillings (WHO, 1991; Health Canada, 1996). Previous assessments of dental amalgam have demonstrated that the dose of Hg received as a result of this dental material exceeds what is considered to be a safe or reference dose (see Health Canada, 1995; Richardson and Allan, 1996).”



Sue Casteel from
The Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
discusses symptoms of mercury toxicity

The Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry produced a “Toxicological Profile for Mercury” which lists the many adverse health effects from exposure to mercury and mercury vapor (the type released daily from dental amalgam fillings at rates higher than all other sources of mercury combined) ATSDR has not looked at the science of mercury exposure from dental amalgams since 1999 and they continue to showcase old science to promote amalgam safety.

“When metallic mercury vapors are inhaled, they readily enter the bloodstream and are carried throughout the body and can move into the brain.”

“The kidneys are also sensitive to the effects of mercury, because mercury accumulates in the kidneys and causes higher exposures to these tissues, and thus more damage.”

Chronic exposure primarily affects the central nervous system. Chronic exposure produces a classic triad of tremor, gingivitis and erethism (insomnia, excessive shyness, and emotional lability. Other psychological findings include headache, short-term memory loss, and anorexia. Fine tremors in the fingers, eyelids, and lips are early signs of mercury toxicity. Other peripheral nervous system findings include distal paresthesias, motor and sensory nerve conduction delay, and limb weakness. Gingivitis, stomatitis and excessive salivation may occur. Acrodynia, a non-allergic hypersensitivity reaction, may develop in children exposed to mercury vapors.

alz-assocMany scientists consider the studies below compelling evidence that dental amalgam is not a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Public health agencies, including the FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization, endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive material for dental restorations.


WHOBefore taking a closer look at the studies offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, It must be noted that they mistakenly state that the World Health Organization (WHO) endorses the continued use of amalgam. It is a wide spread misconception that the WHO, has declared mercury fillings safe. They have not.

The source of this misinformation seems to be a policy statement made by the FDI World Dental Federation with the title WHO Consensus Statement on Dental Amalgam.

This policy statement has incorrectly and extensively been used by dental organizations to convince politicians and other decision makers that the WHO has declared mercury fillings safe.

In March 1997 the WHO Oral Health section, the dentists within WHO, gathered a number of external experts to a consultation on the matter. It is pointed out in the report that the statements made by the experts in their written contributions are solely the responsibility of the authors. Furthermore the subtitle of the resulting report is WHO Consultation on Dental Amalgam and its Alternatives, Geneva, 3-7 March 1997 indicating that this is not a decision taken by the WHO. (Mjör IA, Pakhomov GN . Dental Amalgam and Alternative Direct Restorative Material. Oral Health Division of Noncommunicable Diseases World Health Organization. Geneva 1997.)

It almost happened again in 2010


Charlie Brown, President of
the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry
explains why the World Health Organization
retracted the Peterson Paper

Charlie Brown, President of the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, announced to the stakeholders attending INC2 that the World Health Organization rescinded the document known as the “Petersen Paper.” The Notorius Petersen Paper was a propaganda project of the World Health Organization’s in-house dentist. In his paper, Petersen claimed that phasing out amalgam was not feasible and amalgam was a safe product.

After a constructive meeting of many amalgam stakeholders in 2009, where an agreement was reached to “phase down” amalgam, WHO dentist P. E. Petersen was assigned to write up the notes. Instead, Petersen secretly assembled three other pro-mercury dentists, all from developed countries, and produced a paper denying progress could be made on amalgam and making a series of provably false claims about amalgam and about the progress of that stakeholder meeting. includes Juliet Pratt and Lillian Lasaten Ebuen DDS

Here is what the World Health Organization (“WHO”)  says currently (2011) in its re-released, long-awaited report on dental amalgam.  In Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration, WHO urges “a switch in use of dental materials” away from amalgam.

The report describes three of these reasons in detail:

WHO determines that amalgam releases a “significant amount of mercury“: WHO concludes that amalgam poses a serious environmental health problem because amalgam releases a “significant amount of mercury” into the environment, including the atmosphere, surface water, groundwater, and soil.  WHO says “When released from dental amalgam use into the environment through these pathways, mercury is transported globally and deposited.  Mercury releases may then enter the human food chain especially via fish consumption.”

WHO determines that amalgam raises “general health concerns“:  While the report acknowledges that a few dental trade groups still believe amalgam is safe for all, the WHO report reaches a very different conclusion: “Amalgam has been associated with general health concerns.”  The report observes, “According to the Norwegian Dental Biomaterials Adverse Reaction Unit, the majority of cases of side-effects of dental filling materials are linked with dental amalgam.”

WHO concludes that “Materials alternative to dental amalgam are available” – and cites many studies indicating that they are superior to amalgam.  For example, WHO says “recent data suggest that RBCs [resin-based composites] perform equally well” as amalgam.  And compomers have a higher survival rate, says WHO, citing a study finding that 95% of compomers and 92% of amalgams survive after 4 years.  Perhaps more important than the survival of the filling, WHO asserts that “Adhesive resin materials allow for less tooth destruction and, as a result, a longer survival of the tooth itself.”

If the Alzheimer’s Association has mistakening misquoted the WHO’s position on amalgam, what else could they have gotten wrong ?



Charlie Brown
Consumers for Dental Choice
Explains the lawsuit that forced the FDA
to finally classify mercury amalgam fillings after 33 years of inaction.

So does the FDA really endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive material for dental restorations?

Both yes and no.

For 33 years the FDA dodged properly classifying dental amalgam as it was grandfathered in without proof of safety. Manufacturers of amalgams have never performed any safety studies on this product. In 2008 Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice sued the FDA. United States District Judge Ellen Huvelle convened a hearing, and demanded to know why FDA was refusing to classify amalgam. When FDA’s lawyer said the agency was working on it, the Judge was incredulous — and ordered the parties into mediation to set a date to classify. What came about was an agreement that the FDA would post on its website the following.

“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.”

The FDA lost a 2007 lawsuit which forced them to classify amalgam (determine safety), but the final rule of the classification (delivered in 2009) was a huge disappointment as it declared the mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings to be safe for anyone and everyone, without regard to age, reproductive status, or any of the known factors that make a person unusually susceptible to the effects of mercury exposure.


Attorney, Jim Love
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
Explains the “Petition for Reconsideration”
submitted to the FDA in 2009

Although the FDA ruling purported to be a ‘risk assessment’, the document was nothing of the sort as it did not comply with the standards of practice endorsed and espoused by the professional risk assessment community. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and several concerned scientists found over 27 glaring mistakes in the ruling and submitted a “petition for reconsideration” to the FDA.

This petition pointed out the inaccuracies, inconsistencies and flawed science the FDA relied upon and urged them to reconsider their ruling. In December 2010, The FDA convened a new dental products panel meeting specifically to further investigate and re-evaluate the issues brought up in the petition for reconsideration and will come out with a new rule amalgam sometime in 2011.

Additionally, in their amalgam rule, the FDA cited an ill-defined and unsubstantiated estimate of absorbed mercury exposure from dental amalgam of 1 to 5 μgs/day that supposedly relates to the presence of between 7 and 10 amalgam fillings.

This conclusion is attributed to a report by the Public Health Service published in 1993 (PHS, 1993). This cited report did not contain or conduct a detailed quantification of mercury exposure but based its estimates on the review of other yet older reports.

In fact, PHS(1993) acknowledged that estimates of mercury exposure from amalgam span 1 μg/day to 29μgs/day (see PHS, 1993, Appendix III), with higher estimates appropriately acknowledged for the sizable population of persons who have more than ten amalgam fillings.

This means that the Public Health Service (PHS) which the Alzheimer’s Association quotes published levels of mercury exposure for those with amalgams far above and beyond that of all other exposures (air, food, water) combined. But yet they came to the conclusion that dental mercury was safe to leave on the market.

alz-assoc“March 1991, the Dental Devices Panel of the FDA concluded there was no current evidence that amalgam poses any danger.”


While the FDA Panel did come to that conclusion, the panel also agreed that the information presented at the meeting raised questions that warrant further research.

The FDA panel claimed safety by ignoring the warnings of danger to amalgam by the very scientists the FDA invited to speak. 

dr_lars_feibergLars Friberg, M.D., Ph.D. one of the world’s foremost authorities on mercury, from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden,:

“In conclusion, we consider that dental amalgam, from the strictly toxicological point of view, is an unsuitable dental filling material. It is our opinion that,in the future, steps should be taken to use, as far as possible other material than amalgam. In the interim we find it highly appropriate to classify the mercury used in dentistry as a class III device.” FDA Transcript 3/15/91, p. 81.

Dr. Friberg’s testimony was followed by Dr. Zamm, who stated, “The belief that a small amount of mercury is not clinically significant is the result of a major error in analysis.”

Dr. Zamm concluded with: In summary, dental mercury is a dangerous substance. “It was a 170-year old anachronistic mixture of crude coin fillings and mercury that has been grandfathered in without scientific proof of safety. It is a dangerous substance that is 170 years old and should be banned.”  FDA Transcript, 3/15/91, p.138.

In addition the FDA did not address several concerns such as proper classification of the amalgam product, of which the manufacturers have never proven amalgams safe.

And for a little context: In 1991 Sweden banned mercury fillings from being used in the teeth of pregnant women. And for those who could prove an “allergy” to their dental amalgam fillings, the Swedish government would pay for their removal.


BBC Panorama:The Poison in Your Mouth

July 11, 1994

Tom Mangold of BBC Panorama interviews Siw Persson, a member of Swedish parliament. Tom learns that Sweden did NOT get rid of mercury fillings solely for environmental reasons as many pro-mercury filling advocates claim.

MANGOLD (BBC): People say that the only reason the Swedes are banning dental amalgam is on environmental grounds. Now is that true?

SIW_PERSSONSIW PERSSON (Member of Swedish Parliament): No, really not. It’s one reason, but the most important reason is, of course, a health reason.

MANGOLD (BBC): Why has Sweden been the first country to ban dental amalgam because there’s still no evidence, there’s no final proof, that dental amalgam actually hurts human beings?

PERSSON: We said we have seen enough. Now we have to stop it, before much more people are more sick than they are today.

alz-assoc“National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991 funded a study at the University of Kentucky to investigate the relationship between amalgam fillings and Alzheimer’s. Analysis by University statisticians revealed no significant association between silver fillings and Alzheimer’s. The abstract for this study is posted on the Journal of the American Dental Association Web site.”


Boyd Haley PhD
discusses Flaws in the Saxe Alzheimer’s Study


Rebuttal written by Boyd Haley PhD. This research was lead by a dentist at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Saxe. 

 It was submitted to the Journal of the American Medical Association and rejected.  It was then submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine and rejected.  It was then published in the ADA trade journal, JADA, that is not a refereed, scientific journal.  

JADA is loaded with commercial advertisements for dental products.  They even called a “press conference” announcing the release of this article!  Calling a press conference for a twice-rejected publication that is to appear in a trade journal is playing politics with science at its worst!  At this press conference two of the authors made unbelievable statements that were not supported by any of the data in the article and conflicted with numerous major scientific reports, including the 1998 NIH study (6).  Some of these were highlighted in the sidebars of the ADA publication.  I would suggest that those concerned with this article visit Medline and look at the publication records of the two individuals who made these statements.  Also, look at the three earlier excellent publications in refereed journals by some of the other authors showing significant mercury levels in the brains of AD subjects compared to controls (14a,b, 15).  However, put a dentist in charge of the project and the data gets reversed!

Apply some common sense.  The ancillary comments by some of the authors and the results of the JADA publication are in total disagreement with the vast majority of research published that looks at elevated mercury levels in subjects with amalgam fillings. 

For example, the NIH study on military men discussed above showed a very significant elevation of mercury in the blood that correlated with number of dental amalgams (6). Another recent publication demonstrated elevated mercury in the blood of living AD patients in comparison to age-matched controls (10). These studies clearly show that there should be increased mercury in your blood if you have amalgams and especially if you have AD and amalgams (6,10). Does not the brain have blood in it? This makes it a total mystery as to how could the authors of the JADA article not find elevated brain mercury levels in patient with existing amalgams and/or AD. Even cadavers have brain mercury levels that correlate with the number of amalgam fillings they had on death.

Further, if you are addressing the contribution of amalgams to brain mercury and AD wouldn’t it be important to divide the AD and control subjects into those with and without existing amalgams on death? In the JADA article this was not done and represents a major research flaw! That this was not done also arouses suspicion.

I participated in submitting a letter pointing out this flaw to editors of JADA but they refused to acknowledge the letter and did not publish our comments. It is my opinion that the entire situation around this singular supportive publication of the ADA position on amalgams, brain mercury levels and AD represents a weak attempt at controlling the mind-set of well-meaning dentists, scientists, physicians and medical research administrators. It definitely impedes honest scientific debate. It also explains the cavalier attitude of the ADA and NIDCR about elemental mercury exposure and toxicity when compared to the more serious approaches taken by the EPA and OSHA.

With regards to the JADA article summary that “no statistically significant differences in brain mercury levels between subjects with Alzheimer’s disease and control subjects.” Here I must quote Mark Twain on honesty, “There are liars, damned liars and statisticians.” Comparing the level of mercury in the AD versus control alone using straightforward statistics previously showed a significant difference on mercury levels in AD versus control subjects (14a,b, 15). However, there are anomalies, confounders and other factors that can be considered in this situation, especially if you don’t like the initial results. This allows one to invoke a Bon-Feroni statistical manipulation. With Bon-Feroni you include the comparison of one pair of data (that may be statistically significantly different taken alone, e.g. mercury levels in the brains of AD versus control subjects) with several other pairs of data rendering the difference statistically insignificant. One known weakness of the Bon-Feroni treatment of several coupled pairs of comparisons is that one very likely will miss a single comparison that is significantly different, and clever people know this. It is my opinion that application of the Bon-Feroni manipulation is what happened in this JADA study that reversed the previous significance of the mercury levels in AD versus control brain previously reported.

Research previously reported by some of the very same researchers involved in the JADA study consistently indicated that mercury levels were higher in AD versus age-matched control brains (14a,b, 15). Only when an ADA dentist became involved did the results change to being insignificant. I think the data used in this JADA article and funded by NIH needs to be re-evaluated by a different statistician if we are to ever really know if the mercury levels in the AD brains differed significantly from controls. – Boyd Haley PhD

alz-assocOctober 30, 2003, a New England Journal of Medicine article concluded that current evidence shows no connection between mercury-containing dental fillings and Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. The abstract for this study is posted on the New England Journal of Medicine Web site.


To come to that conclusion, the author of the study, Thomas Clarkson, ignored a large body of published studies. He wrote three years later in “The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds”

Claims have been made that mercury released from amalgam may cause or exacerbate chronic degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease (Mutter et al.,2004). 

joachim-mutterMutter took issue with Clarksons dismissive portrayal of his findings and lack of effort to look at the scientific data that had been published linking mercury to Alzheimer’s disease. So Mutter wrote an article in “Critical Reviews in Toxicology” 2007, that included an overview of many studies Clarkson had left out in his review of “The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds”.

Below are comments by Joacim Mutter on the article “The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds”

Clarkson and Magos (2006) provide their perspectives on the toxicology of mercury vapor and dental amalgam. As scientists who are involved in preparing a German federal guidline regarding dental amalgam, we welcome additional scientific data on this issue. However, Clarkson and Magos do not present all the relevant studies in their review. The additional data provided here showthat: (a) Dental amalgam is the main source of human total mercury body burden, because individuals with amalgam have 2–12 times more mercury in their body tissues compared to individuals without amalgam; (b) there is not necessarily a correlation between mercury levels in blood, urine, or hair and in body tissues, and none of the parameters correlate with severity of symptoms; (c) the half-life of mercury deposits in brain and bone tissues could last from several years to decades, and thus mercury accumulates over time of exposure; (d) mercury, in particular mercury vapor, is known to be the most toxic nonradioactive element, and is toxic even in very low doses, and (e) some studies which conclude that amalgam fillings are safe for human beings have important methodogical flaws. Therefore, they have no value for assessing the safety of amalgam.

Mutter goes on to write.

Clarkson and Magos (2006) question the hypothesis that mercury may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although our overview was cited by Clarkson and Magos (2006), we would like to summarize briefly the statements made in this review in order to clarify our view (Mutter et al., 2004a). 

1. No metal other than mercury is capable to produce every single change in the nervous system of animals and in cell tests that is typical for AD, including the increase of ß-amyloid and the formation of neurofibrillar tangles (NFT).

2. If aluminum or other metals are present in the body together with mercury it is highly likely that synergistic toxic effects occur.

3. Some studies found elevated mercury levels in brain tissues or body fluids of individuals with AD.

4. The development ofAD takes up to 30–50 years (Braak et al., 1997).

5. Since about 95% of all AD cases are triggered by exogenic factors and the disease is now pandemic in developed countries, the main exogenic factor should be present since about 50 years in many people, both in rural and in urban sites. This matches with the rising use of dental amalgam after World War II 50 years ago.

6. The risk of AD increases with the incidence of dental decay. 

7. It is known that the presence of the apolipoprotein E subtype (Apo-E-4 allele) is a major risk factor for developing AD (Farrer et al., 1997; Ritchie and Dupuy, 1999). Exactly why Apo-E-4 is a major risk factor for AD is yet not known. A possible link could be the fact that Apo-E-4 has reduced the detoxifying abilities compared with the other two subtypes (Apo-E-2, Apo-E-3). Apo-E-4 has no thiol groups, unlike to the other forms, which may have the ability to bind and detoxify heavy metals like mercury (Godfrey et al., 2003; Pendergrass & Haley, 1996) and lead (Stewart et al., 2002). 

In our view these arguments show that mercury plays a major factor in the development ofAD and is even more important than aluminum.

The average mercury load in the brain of AD patients was 20 to 178 ng Hg/g; in some cases the load exceeds up to (236–698 ng Hg/g). In 15% of brain samples the mercury load was above 100 ng Hg/g (Ehmann et al., 1986; Thompson et al., 1988; Saxe et al., 1999). The average mercury load in the pituitary gland was as high as 400 ± 100 ng Hg/g (Cornett et al., 1998).

Considering that the mercury load decreased due to the death of neurons during the progress of the disease, the total load must have been even greater at the beginning of the pathological changes in brain, which precede clinical diagnosis of AD by up to 50 years (Braak et al., 1997). 

The typical hallmarks in brain tissues occurring during AD have been produced by far lower concentrations of inorganic or elemental mercury in experimental settings. Mercury concentrations of 0.02 ng Hg/g (2 μl 0.1 μM Hg in 2 ml substrate) led to the total destruction of tubuli and to the degeneration of axons, which in turn led to the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) (Leong et al., 2001).

In other experiments a mercury concentration of 36 ng Hg/g (0.18 μM Hg) led to the excretion of ß-amyloid 40 und 42, to an increase of oxidative stress, and to hyperphospholyration of Tau as a prerequesite for the formation of NFT (Olivieri et al., 2000, 2002).

Transferring these results to the human brain, it is sensible to assume similar changes, particularly as the average concentration in the brain tissues of some humans exceeded the mercury concentrations in these experiments by far.

Some scientists argue that results gained by animal or cell testing are not comparable to the situation of the human body. However, as humans are exposed to many other pathogenetic sources, we think that the effects add up or are even synergistic (Schubert et al., 1978; Haley, 2002). Moreover, animals like rats are capable of producing the antioxidant vitamin C by themselves when exposed to stress. 

Mutter goes on to list the “Methodical Flaws in Studies Cited by Clarkson and Magos (2006)”. Mutters critique can be found at the bottom of this article for download.


Richard Deth P.h.D. testifies to the FDA about his recent study linking inorganic mercury to Alzheimer’s Disease.

If there is any question left when considering the BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE, then one needs to look no further than The JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE where a recently published study entitled

“Does Inorganic Mercury Play a Role in Alzheimer’s Disease? A Systematic Review and an Integrated Molecular Mechanism.”

The authors of this study performed a meta-analysis of 106 case-control or comparative cohort studies to associate mercury as a causative factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Noting that the main source of mercury in the human body is dental amalgam (1 – 27 ug a day)

Consider This

Mercury fillings, have been shown repeatedly to be the single largest source of daily mercury exposure in the USA amalgam wearing population (120 + million people) and have been shown to cause 3 of the major diagnostic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. So not only do you have a neurotoxin that can reproduce the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s but you have that same neurtoxin placed as a medical implant within inches of ones brain for upwards of 50 years.

So then why does the Alzheimer’s Association consider mercury fillings exempt from being suspect as a causal factor in Alzheimer’s Disease? We here at Mercury Exposure do not know.

There is certainly a strong enough link to warrant research funds to study this aspect more. Considering the mission statement of the Alzheimer’s Association, It is unfortunate that all those who look to this organization for reliable information are being mislead because the Alzheimer’s Association has decided to promote the mercury link as a myth.

It is quite incredible that an organization as large as the national Alzheimer’s Association with such vast resources could somehow overlook 20 years of research linking mercury to Alzheimer’s disease. Hopefully one day soon the Alzheimer’s Association (the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research ) will find the courage to break with current dogma promoting the safety of dental amalgams and live up to their mission statement “To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research”.

Since the overwhelming majority of evidence points to mercury as a causal factor, The Alzheimer’s Association could start by ending their misleading assertion that “Silver dental fillings increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease” is a myth.


39. Ehmann WD, Markesbery WR, Alauddin M, Hossain TIM, Brubakern EH: Brain trace elements in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotoxicology 1986,7:197-206.

40. Thompson CM, Markesbery WR, Ehmann WD, Mao Y-X, Vance DE: Regional brain trace element studies in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotoxicology 1988,9:1-8.

41. Saxe SR, Wekstein MW, Kryscio RJ, Henry RG, Cornett CR, Snowdon DA, Grant FT, Schmitt FA, Donegan SJ, Wekstein DR, Ehmann WD, Markesbery WR: Alzheimer’s disease, dental amalgam and mercury. J Am Dent Ass 1999,130:191-199.

42. Cornett CR, Ehmann WD, Wekstein DR, Markesbery WR: Trace elements in Alzheimer’s disease pituitary glands. Biol Trace Element Res 1998,62:107-114.{/slide}

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