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Diagnosis and treatment of metal-induced side-effects

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By VD Stejskal • • February 7, 2007

Journal: Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 2006 Dec 29;27(Supplement1) [E-publication ahead of print] Authors and affiliation: Stejskal VD, Hudecek R, Stejskal J, Sterzl I. Department of Immunology and Microbiology, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic. PMID: 17261999 Environmental factors are recognized as a cause of the increasing frequency of allergic and autoimmune diseases. In addition to external pollutants, metal ions released from dental restorations or from other body implants might trigger inflammation in susceptible subjects. In humans, genes governing metal-induced inflammation/autoimmunity are not yet known. In clinical praxis, metal-sensitive patients will present various symptoms ranging from oral mucosal changes and skin disease to excessive fatigue and autoimmune diseases. One has to rely on the phenotypic markers of metal susceptibility. Such biomarkers might be certain detoxification enzymes, but also the presence of metal-specific memory cells in the blood. With the increasing use of metal implants in medicine and dentistry, it is important to have a proper tool for the diagnosis of metal allergy in susceptible subjects. After nickel, gold is now the second most common sensitizer. Depending on the genetic phenotype, metal-sensitive patients will present symptoms ranging from contact allergy to autoimmune disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In addition to a patch test, an in vitro blood test, an optimized commercially available lymphocyte transformation test (MELISA®) is used in this study for the diagnosis of metal allergy. Both tests were used for the diagnosis of metal allergy in selected group of 17 patients who suffered from clinical metal sensitivity in addition to other health problems. The concordance of the two tests was good, but lymphocyte transformation test detected more metal allergies than patch test. The replacement of incompatible dental restorative metals (RID) resulted in long term health improvement in the majority of patients. We postulate that in vivo metal ions will activate T-cells starting systemic inflammation which, through cytokines, affect the brain and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The treatment and rehabilitation of metal sensitive patients is based on a firm understanding and recognition of individual susceptibility. RID has to be done under strict precaution and according to standard working protocol. If performed properly, this treatment can result in decreased systemic inflammation and improved health in sensitized patients.

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