Here is the latest in a line of articles that refute the conclusions of the CAT studies, that amalgam is safe for children, written by one of the original authors. The last line of this abstract, downplaying the effect of dental amalgam on the subjects’ mercury exposure, belies the fact that the CAT studies confirmed that placing amalgam increases urinary mercury.
Modification of neurobehavioral effects of mercury by genetic polymorphisms of metallothionein in children
James S. Woods, Nicholas J. Heyer, Joan E. Russoc, Michael D. Martind, Pradeep B. Pillaie, Federico M. Farina
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
Available online 1 July 2013
Mercury (Hg) is neurotoxic, and children may be particularly susceptible to this effect. A current major challenge is the identification of children who may be uniquely susceptible to Hg toxicity because of genetic disposition. We examined the hypothesis that genetic variants of metallothionein (MT) that are reported to affect Hg toxicokinetics in adults would modify the neurotoxic effects of Hg in children. Five hundred seven children, 8–12 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of Hg from dental amalgam tooth fillings. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at 7 subsequent annual intervals for neurobehavioral performance and urinary Hg levels. Following the completion of the clinical trial, we performed genotyping assays for variants of MT isoforms MT1M (rs2270837) and MT2A (rs10636) on biological samples provided by 330 of the trial participants. Regression modeling strategies were employed to evaluate associations between allelic status, Hg exposure, and neurobehavioral test outcomes. Among girls, few significant interactions or independent main effects for Hg exposure and either of the MT gene variants were observed. In contrast, among boys, numerous significant interaction effects between variants of MT1M and MT2A, alone and combined, with Hg exposure were observed spanning multiple domains of neurobehavioral function. All dose–response associations between Hg exposure and test performance were restricted to boys and were in the direction of impaired performance. These findings suggest increased susceptibility to the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg among children with relatively common genetic variants of MT, and may have important public health implications for future strategies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the potential health risks associated with Hg exposure. We note that because urinary Hg reflects a composite exposure index that cannot be attributed to a specific source, these findings do not support an association between Hg in dental amalgams specifically and the adverse neurobehavioral outcomes observed.
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