Researchers report they have found no link between dental amalgam and Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Several anti-amalgam groups have charged that the mercury in dental amalgam can promote diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and others. These charges have never been substantiated by research and have been vehemently denied by the organizations who work to conquer these diseases.
The authors studied 68 subjects with Alzheimer's disease and 33 control subjects without Alzheimer's to determine mercury levels in multiple brain regions at autopsy and to ascertain the subjects' dental amalgam status and history. The subjects were from central Kentucky and Elm Grove, Wisconsin.
The investigators conducted dental amalgam assessments during the lives of the majority of subjects, and in some subjects at the time of autopsy only. The authors also determined three dental amalgam index scores: event (placement, repair or removal of amalgam); location and time in mouth; and the number of amalgam fillings and where they occur on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
The investigators determined mercury levels in multiple brain regions and performed full neuropathologic evaluations to confirm the normal status of the brain or the presence of Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers found no significant association of Alzheimer's disease in conjunction with the number, surface area and history of having dental amalgam fillings. They also found no statistically significant differences in brain mercury levels between subjects who had Alzheimer's and those who did not.
The researchers concluded that dental amalgam fillings, regardless of number chewing surface area or time, do not relate to brain mercury levels.
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