Published: 12/10/2004

The beneficial effect of amalgam replacement on health in patients with autoimmunity

Prochazkova J, Sterzl I, Kucerova H, Bartova J, Stejskal V. Neuroendocrinology Letters 2004;25(3):211-218
This study examines the health impact of amalgam replacement in mercury-allergic patients with autoimmunity. The suitability of MELISA® for the selection of susceptible patients and monitoring of sensitization was also examined. Amalgam fillings, which were the single restorative material in the patients' teeth, were replaced with composites and ceramic materials. Follow-up health status and lymphocyte reactivity were assessed and evaluated half a year or later following amalgam removal.
MELISA® indicated that in vitro reactivity after the replacement of dental amalgam decreased significantly to inorganic mercury, silver, organic mercury and lead. Out of 35 patients, 71% showed improvement of health. The remaining patients exhibited either unchanged health or worsening of symptoms. The highest rate of improvement was observed in patients with multiple sclerosis, the lowest rate was noted in patients with eczema.

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Published: 01/10/2003

Validity of MELISA® for metal sensitivity testing

Valentine-Thon E, Schiwara HW, Neuroendocrinology Letters 2003; 24(1/2):57-64
OBJECTIVE: This study was carried out to evaluate the reproducibility, sensitivity, specificity, and reliability of the MELISA® test for detecting metal sensitivity in patients with clinical symptoms of a type IV hypersensitivity to metal.
DESIGN: Blood from 250 patients was tested in MELISA® against up to 20 different metals in 2 to 3 concentrations. The frequency and distribution of metal reactivities, the sensitivity and specificity of nickel reactivity in patients with and without confirmed or suspected sensitivity to nickel, and the roles of lymphocyte concentration and concentration of inorganic mercury were analyzed.
RESULTS: Among the 250 patients, reactivity to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 metals was 26%, 36%, 15%, 12%, 6%, and 5%, respectively. Reactivity was most frequent to nickel (73%), followed by titanium (42%), cadmium (18%) gold (17%), palladium (13%), lead (11%), beryllium (9%), inorganic mercury (8%), tin (8%), and phenylmercury (6%). All patients (n=15) with confirmed or suspected nickel allergy were positive in MELISA®, while patients with no suspicion of nickel allergy were either negative (n=6) or very low positive (n=4) in MELISA® .
CONCLUSION: The MELISA® test is reproducible, sensitive, specific, and reliable for detecting metal sensitivity in metal-sensitive patients.

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Published: 13/11/2002

Les amalgames dentaires constituent-ils un risque pour la sante?

Leunis JC, Le Journal du Dentiste 2002;242:1-4

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Published: 10/09/2002

Removal of dental amalgam and other metal alloys supported by antioxidant therapy alleviates symptoms and improves quality of life in patients with amalgam-associated ill health.

Lindh U, Hudecek R, Danersund A, Eriksson S, Lindvall A. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002;23(5-6):459-82.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate treatment of patients suffering from chronic ill health with a multitude of symptoms associated with metal exposure from dental amalgam and other metal alloys.Treatment of the patients by removal of offending dental metals and concomitant antioxidant therapy was implemented according to the Uppsala model based on a close co-operation between physicians and dentists. More than 70% of the responders, remaining after exclusion of those who had not begun or completed removal, reported substantial recovery and increased quality of life. Comparison with similar studies showed accordance of the main results. Plasma concentrations of mercury before and after treatment supported the metal exposure to be causative for the ill health.

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Published: 16/09/2001

Nickel allergy is found in a majority of women with chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle pain - and may be triggered by cigarette smoke and dietary nickel intake

Regland B, Zachrisson O, Stejskal V, Gottfries CG. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol. 8(1) 2001
Two hundred and four women with chronic fatigue and muscle pain, with no signs of autoimmune disorder, received immune stimulation injections with a Staphylococcus vaccine at monthly intervals over 6 months. Good response was defined as a decrease by at least 50% of the total score on an observer's rating scale. Nickel allergy was evaluated as probable if the patient had a positive history of skin hypersensitivity from cutaneous exposure to metal objects. The patient's smoking habits were recorded. Fifty-two percent of the patients had a positive history of nickel contact dermatitis. There were significantly more good responders among the non-allergic non-smokers (39%) than among the allergic smokers (6%). We also present case reports on nickel-allergic patients who apparently improved after cessation of cigarette smoking and reducing their dietary nickel intake. Our observations indicate that exposure to nickel, by dietary intake or inhalation of cigarette smoke, may trigger systemic nickel allergy and contribute to syndromes of chronic fatigue and muscle pain.

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Published: 04/10/1999

The role of metals in autoimmunity

Stejskal J, Stejskal V. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999; 20:351-364
Can metal allergy make the body attack itself? This article reviews the scientific studies into the subject so far, and looks at how metal allergy can play a role in conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It also discusses the role of inflammation-induced changes in the hypotalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as a possible explanation of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), depression and other psychosomatic symptoms observed in these diseases.

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Published: 22/09/1999

Mercury and nickel allergy: risk factors in fatigue and in autoimmunity

Sterzl I et al. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999; 20:221-228
This study further explores the link between hypersensitivity to dental metals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It looks at 22 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, 28 fatigued patients free from endocrinopathy and 22 fatigued professionals with no evidence of autoimmunity. All had their dental amalgams replaced with non-metallic materials. After six months, many patients reported disappearance of many symptoms previously encountered. Their MELISA response also fell considerably. We suggest that hypersensitivity to metal affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) and indirectly triggers psychosomatic symptoms characterising CFS, fibromyalgia and other diseases of unknown etiology.

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Published: 01/09/1999

Metal-specific lymphocytes: biomarkers of sensitivity in man

Stejskal, V, et al. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999; 20:289-298
The biggest-ever MELISA® experiment was performed in more than 3,000 patients suffering from various symptoms resembling chronic fatigue, often in combination with intolerance to metal. Nickel was found to be the most common sensitizer followed by inorganic mercury, gold, cadmium and palladium. Replacement of amalgam and other dental metals resulted in health improvement for a majority of patients. Follow-up MELISA® tests show that, for these patients, the severity of their allergy had also subsided.

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Published: 01/09/1998

Metal-specific lymphocytes: biomarkers of sensitivity in man

Stejskal V, et al., 1998
An extended version of the "Biomarkers" article (above). This article was presented at the conference "Amalgam and health - new perspectives on risks" in Stockholm on January 1998 ("If there was a needle in a haystack - could we find it? The case of amalgam).

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Published: 15/09/1997

Human Hapten-Specific Lymphocytes: Biomarkers of Allergy in Man

Stejskal V, Drug Information Journal, Vol. 31, pp. 1379-1382, 1997
Environmental pollutants and other chemicals may have increasing impact on the immune systems of human beings. Disregulation of the immune system by chemicals may be one of the reasons why the frequency of allergies and autoimmune diseases increases. Human hapten-specific memory lymphocytes can be detected in the blood from patients with drug-induced immunologic side-effects but not in similarly exposed healthy individuals. The immune reactivity of human lymphocytes in vitro to white coloring agent - titanium dioxide (TiO2), and to the mercurial conservatives thimerosal and phenyl mercury - has been studied. It was found that out of 650 patients tested, 3% reacted to titanium dioxide. The percentages for phenyl mercury and thimerosal were 14% and 7%, respectively. Human memory cells can be used as markers of susceptibility in future choices of appropriate additives in pharmaceutic products.

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Published: 31/10/1996

Mercury-Specific Lymphocytes: An indication of Mercury Allergy in Man

Stejskal V, Forsbeck M et al, Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol. 16, No 1, 1996
In this study, 18 patients with oral lichen planus (OLP), adjacent to amalgam fillings, were tested in vitro with MELISA® and with patch test. Some of the patients also suffered from systemic symptoms such as arthralgia, myalgia, eczema, diabetes and chronic malaise. Twenty healthy subjects with amalgam fillings and twelve healthy amalgam-free subjects served as controls. The results show that the patient group had significantly higher reactivity to inorganic mercury, a corrosion product of amalgam, compared to the control group. Removal of amalgam fillings resulted in the disappearance of oral mucosal changes, thus indicating a causal relationship.

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Published: 04/12/1995

Immunological and Brain MRI Changes in Patients with Suspected Metal Intoxication

Tibbling L, Thoumas KA, Lenkei R, Stejskal V. International Journal of occupational Medicine and toxicology, Vol 4, No. 2, 1995
Thirty-four patients with central nervous system and and systemic symptoms were examined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and with MELISA. Lymphocyte phenotype was analyzed with flow cytometry in 22 of the patients. 120 age-matched patients server as controls for the MRI study, 77 healthy subjects with dental amalgam filling served as controls for the MELISA test and for lymphocyte phenotype determination. Pathological MRI findings were present in 81% of the patients, most of them with degeneration in the basal ganglia. Lymphocyte phenotype determination was pathological in 58%. 60% of patients showed increased lymphocyte proliferation to mercury. The authors conclude that immunological mechanisms may play an important role in the development in brain lesions in amalgam intoxicated patients.

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Published: 10/08/1994

MELISA® - an in vitro tool for the study of metal allergy

Stejskal V, Cederbrant K, Lindvall A, Forsbeck M, Toxicology In Vitro (an International Journal Published in association with BIBRA), 1994, vol 8, p. 991-1000
This article describes how to diagnose allergy to various mercury compounds such as thimerosal, phenyl mercury and inorganic mercury. Since these mercurials are immunologically non-cross reacting, it is possible by MELISA® not only to determine the existence of mercury allergy but also the source of sensitization. Thimerosal, a component of vaccines, eye drops and nose drops, is ethyl mercury salt of thiosalicylic acid. Strong allergenic properties of thimerosal have been known for years, as reflected by the presence of thimerosal as a standard component of patch-tests.

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Published: 09/10/1990

Lymphocyte Transformation Test for Diagnosis of Isothiazolinone Allergy in Man

Stejskal V, Forsbeck M, Nilsson R, J Invest Dermatol 94:789-802, 1990
The lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) has been used for evaluation of in vitro lymphocyte responses in 18 patients with dermatitis and positive patch tests to 200 ppm of a combination of 5-chloro-2-methylisothiazolinone and 28methylisothiazolinone (MCI) in nine patients with dermatitis unrelated to MCI and in seven subjects without skin diseases. Lymphocytes from nine patch-test-positive patients proliferated vigorously to MCI in vitro. Lymphocytes from the remaining nine patients were not stimulated. The lymphocyte proliferation to isothiazolinones indicates the presence of memory cells in the patients' blood and confirms immunologic reaction to the inducing agent. To establish clinical relevance of LTT results, 12 MCI patch-test-positive patients underwent "use test" with lotion containing 15 ppm MCI. Four of five LTT-positive patients were use-test-positive, whereas seven of seven LTT-negative patients were use-test-negative, despite of positivity in patch test. LTT-positive and lotion-positive patients responded to 100 ppm or lower concentrations of MCI on patch testing, whereas seven of eight LTT-negative and lotion-negative patients responded to 200 ppm only. Finally, MCI-specific lymphocyte proliferation was observed only in patients with MCI-positive skin test, but not in nine patients with dermatitis induced by other agents, or in seven subjects without skin diseases. Thus, the lymphocyte transformation test is able to distinguish between irritant and allergic skin responses. It may also be valuable in establishing the clinically relevant patch-test concentration of allergens with irritative properties.

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Published: 06/08/1990

Immunologic basis for adverse reactions to radiographic contrast media

Stejskal V, Nilsson R, Grepe A, Acta Radiologica 31(6):605-12:1990
The lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) was used to elucidate whether certain side effects induced by radiographic contrast media have an immunologic etiology. Groups studied were: 8 patients who had previously experienced adverse reactions in association with urography, 6 patients who underwent urography without notable side reactions, 17 occupationally exposed nurses, and 9 unexposed controls. The lymphocytes from 2 hypersensitive patients and from 11 nurses exhibited a positive proliferative response to amidotrizoate. Five nurses who had shown a positive response, had a previous history of hypersensitivity reactions when handling contrast media, whereas the remaining 6 were free of symptoms. Amidotrizoate-specific memory cells were absent in patients who underwent urography without signs of hypersensitivity and in 7/9 of unexposed control subjects. Lymphocytes from patients sensitive to amidotrizoate cross-reacted to structurally related ionic contrast media while non-ionic contrast agents did not induce proliferation of the lymphocytes. Thus, ionic radiographic contrast agents have antigenic properties in man. Irradiated mixtures of radiographic contrast media and serum proteins were, in general, not effective in inducing an LTT response.

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