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Serum Mercury Level and Multiple Sclerosis

Exposure to heavy metals has been associated to a higher incidence of multiple sclerosis. In this work, we present a possible relationship between serum mercury levels and development of multiple sclerosis in Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran. Seventy-four patients affected by multiple sclerosis were retrieved from multiple sclerosis (MS) clinic in Isfahan, Iran. By matching sex and age, 74 healthy volunteers were chosen as control group. Blood samples were collected and serum mercury content was determined. Serum mercury level in MS patients was significantly higher than controls (9.6 ± 10.17 vs. 5.7 ± 8.6, P  = 0.037). Concerning all MS patients, serum mercury value was significantly higher than the mercury concentration founded in control subjects {odd ratio: 2.39 (CI, 1.96–2.94), P  = 0.00}. Serum mercury level is higher in MS patients with odd ratio equal to 2.39 compared with healthy individuals. It may reveal that high mercury levels in serum might help MS development in susceptible individuals. More studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12011-011-9239-y