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Cognitive Decline

One man’s swordfish story: The link between Alzheimer’s disease and mercury exposure
Published: 2020
SYNOPSIS

It is critical to address biological etiologies such as mercury toxicity in the elderly population diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but end organ damage may not be reversible.

CITATION

Foley MM, Seidel I, Sevier J, Wendt J, Kogan M. One man’s swordfish story: The link between Alzheimer’s disease and mercury exposure. Complement Ther Med. 2020 Aug;52:102499. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102499. Epub 2020 Jul 2. PMID: 32951747.

SUMMARY

It is well-documented that when mercury levels surpass the permissible value, individuals experience a myriad of symptoms that include chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of appetite. Mercury is also known to be one of the most potent neurotoxins. This case study depicts a 91- year-old who presented with cognitive decline diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. This patient was found to have severely elevated mercury levels caused by consuming high mercury containing fish. Following diet adjustment and detoxification, this patient’s cognitive impairment significantly improved in proportion to the decline in methylmercury level. One year later, his cognition and functional status rapidly and unexpectedly declined. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed multiple new lacunar subacute strokes. Thus, it is critical to address biological etiologies such as mercury toxicity in the elderly population diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but end organ damage may not be reversible.

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