Thursday, December 6, 2007

ALS and mercury intoxication: A relationship?

Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume 109, Issue 10, December 2007, Pages 880-883
doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2007.07.008    How to Cite or Link Using DOI (Opens New Window)  
Copyright © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Case report

ALS and mercury intoxication: A relationship?

Julien Pralinea, b, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Anne-Marie Guennoca, Nadège Limousina, Habib Hallakc, Bertrand de Toffola and Philippe Corciaa, b
aDepartment of Neurology and Neurophysiology, CHRU, Tours, France
bINSERM U619, Tours, France
cNeurology and Medicine Department, Hospital Center, Chateauroux, France
Received 4 April 2007;  revised 12 July 2007;  accepted 13 July 2007.  Available online 23 August 2007.

Referred to by: ALS, mercury exposure, and chelation therapy
Clinical Neurology and NeurosurgeryIn Press, Corrected ProofAvailable online 3 December 2007
Antonella Costa, Vincenzo Branca, Paolo D. Pigatto and Gianpaolo Guzzi
Abstract | Full Text + Links | PDF (79 K)


We report the case of an 81-year-old woman in whom clinical signs and features of electromyographic activity patterns were consistent with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Increased blood level and massive urinary excretion of mercury proved mercury intoxication. Despite a chelation treatment with Meso 2–3 dimercaptosuccininc acid (DMSA), she died after 17 months.

The pathophysiology of sporadic ALS remains unclear. However, the role of environmental factors has been suggested. Among some environmental factors, exposure to heavy metals has been considered and ALS cases consecutive to occupational intoxication and accidental injection of mercury have been reported. Although no autopsy was performed, we discuss the role of mercury intoxication in the occurrence of ALS in our case, considering the results of experimental studies on the toxicity of mercury for motor neuron.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Mercury intoxication; Motor neuron disease; Mercury; Heavy metal poisoning

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author at: Department of Neurology, CHU Bretonneau, 2 bis boulevard Tonnellé, 37044 Tours Cedex 9, France. Tel.: +33 247473825; fax: +33 247473808.

Blog Archive