Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brain Neuron Degeneration and Mercury - How Mercury Damages Your Brain Cells

Brain Neuron Degeneration and Mercury - How Mercury Damages Your Brain Cells

Mercury has long been known to be a potent neurotoxic substance, whether it is inhaled or concealed in food as a dietary toxin. Over the past fifteen years, medical research laboratories have established that dental amalgam tooth fillings are a major contributor to mercury body burden.

Understanding how this occurs can reduce the likelihood of permanent brain damage and lead to solutions that can repair the damage. How exactly does this take place?

Mercury is a heavy metal (chemical symbol, Hg) that is also called quicksilver because it is a liquid like water and shiny like silver. It conducts electricity. It occurs naturally in cinnabar mines. Mercury is the causative agent behind the phrase 'mad as a hatter' - referring to the symptoms of mercury poisoning exhibited by hatters in the 18th century who used it in the process of forming hats from felt. It was also used to treat syphilis, an approach that produced symptoms worse than the disease it was designed to address.

Mercury is currently being injected into people in flu vaccines (Thimerosol) used to fill dental cavities and absorbed through skin in cosmetics (again, Thimerosol (especially eye shadow), But the mechanism through which it moves from a vaccination or dental cavity or eye shadow to cause death of brain cells has been unknown until recently.

In 1997 a team of research scientists demonstrated that mercury inhalation in animals produced a molecular release of brain protein metabolism which was similar to the lesions of 80% of Alzheimer's disease patients' brains. Simply put, they demonstrated how mercury causes brain neuron degeneration.

Recent experiments at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine revealed how mercury alters developing brain neurons. Brain neurons have a central cell body and numerous neuro-like processes. At the end of each neuron is a growth-like space. That's where proteins are assembled to form the cell membrane.

One of the two principal proteins involved in growth and function is responsible for tubular molecules, a major structural component. Tubular molecules connect end-to-end to form molecules which surround neural fibers, another structural protein component of the neuron axon.

When live brain tissue neurons are cultured and allowed to grow,then exposed to very low concentrations of mercury for as little as twenty minutes, the neuronal membrane rapidly degenerates and leaves behind denuded neural fiber.

To understand how mercury causes this degeneration, picture proteins that during normal cell growth link together to form micro-tubules that support the neural structure.

But when mercury ions infiltrate the neural cell, they bind themselves to the sides of the newly synthesized tubular molecules. This prevents the neural tubular proteins from linking together.

Consequently, these micro-tubules disassemble into free tubular molecules and leave the neurites - the projections on the end of neurons - stripped of their support structure. Ultimately both the developing neurite and its growth cone collapse. Further, some develop neural fibers, aggregates, or tangles.

In other words, mercury exposure to the neurite growth cone results in disintegration of the micro tubular structure.

This study provides the first direct evidence that even low level mercury exposure is a precipitating factor that can initiate this neural degenerative process within the brain, resulting in the tangles of Alzheimer's patients.

It therefore demonstrates that a key to preventing Alzheimer's is to eliminate sources of mercury exposure in the first place, and to remove any cumulative mercury body burden that has built up.

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