Publications by authors named "Boyd E Haley"

12 Publications

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Insights into the Potential Role of Mercury in Alzheimer's Disease.

J Mol Neurosci 2019 Apr 15;67(4):511-533. Epub 2019 Mar 15.

Research Department, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Brumunddal, Norway.

Mercury (Hg), which is a non-essential element, is considered a highly toxic pollutant for biological systems even when present at trace levels. Elevated Hg exposure with the growing release of atmospheric pollutant Hg and rising accumulations of mono-methylmercury (highly neurotoxic) in seafood products have increased its toxic potential for humans. This review aims to highlight the potential relationship between Hg exposure and Alzheimer's disease (AD), based on the existing literature in the field. Recent reports have hypothesized that Hg exposure could increase the potential risk of developing AD. Also, AD is known as a complex neurological disorder with increased amounts of both extracellular neuritic plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, which may also be related to lifestyle and genetic variables. Research reports on AD and relationships between Hg and AD indicate that neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate are dysregulated in patients with AD. Many researchers have suggested that AD patients should be evaluated for Hg exposure and toxicity. Some authors suggest further exploration of the Hg concentrations in AD patients. Dysfunctional signaling pathways in AD and Hg exposure appear to be interlinked with some driving factors such as arachidonic acid, homocysteine, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, glucosamine glycans, glutathione, acetyl-L carnitine, melatonin, and HDL. This evidence suggests the need for a better understanding of the relationship between AD and Hg exposure, and potential mechanisms underlying the effects of Hg exposure on regional brain functions. Also, further studies evaluating brain functions are needed to explore the long-term effects of subclinical and untreated Hg toxicity on the brain function of AD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12031-019-01274-3DOI Listing
April 2019

Systematic Assessment of Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Mercury Reveals Conflicts of Interest and the Need for Transparency in Autism Research.

Sci Eng Ethics 2017 12;23(6):1691-1718

Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, 14 Redgate Court, Silver Spring, MD, 20905, USA.

Historically, entities with a vested interest in a product that critics have suggested is harmful have consistently used research to back their claims that the product is safe. Prominent examples are: tobacco, lead, bisphenol A, and atrazine. Research literature indicates that about 80-90% of studies with industry affiliation found no harm from the product, while only about 10-20% of studies without industry affiliation found no harm. In parallel to other historical debates, recent studies examining a possible relationship between mercury (Hg) exposure and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show a similar dichotomy. Studies sponsored and supported by industry or entities with an apparent conflict of interest have most often shown no evidence of harm or no "consistent" evidence of harm, while studies without such affiliations report positive evidence of a Hg/autism association. The potentially causal relationship between Hg exposure and ASD differs from other toxic products since there is a broad coalition of entities for whom a conflict of interest arises. These include influential governmental public health entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the coal burning industry. This review includes a systematic literature search of original studies on the potential relationship between Hg and ASD from 1999 to August 2015, finding that of the studies with public health and/or industry affiliation, 86% reported no relationship between Hg and ASD. However, among studies without public health and/or industry affiliation, only 21% find no relationship between Hg and ASD. The discrepancy in these results suggests a bias indicative of a conflict of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-017-9983-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705731PMC
December 2017

The relationship between mercury and autism: A comprehensive review and discussion.

J Trace Elem Med Biol 2016 Sep 2;37:8-24. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., 14 Redgate Court, Silver Spring, MD, 20905 USA; CoMeD, Inc., 14 Redgate Court, Silver Spring, MD, 20905 USA.

The brain pathology in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) indicates marked and ongoing inflammatory reactivity with concomitant neuronal damage. These findings are suggestive of neuronal insult as a result of external factors, rather than some type of developmental mishap. Various xenobiotics have been suggested as possible causes of this pathology. In a recent review, the top ten environmental compounds suspected of causing autism and learning disabilities were listed and they included: lead, methyl-mercury, polychorinated biphenyls, organophosphate pesticides, organochlorine pesticides, endocrine disruptors, automotive exhaust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and perfluorinated compounds. This current review, however, will focus specifically on mercury exposure and ASD by conducting a comprehensive literature search of original studies in humans that examine the potential relationship between mercury and ASD, categorizing, summarizing, and discussing the published research that addresses this topic. This review found 91 studies that examine the potential relationship between mercury and ASD from 1999 to February 2016. Of these studies, the vast majority (74%) suggest that mercury is a risk factor for ASD, revealing both direct and indirect effects. The preponderance of the evidence indicates that mercury exposure is causal and/or contributory in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2016.06.002DOI Listing
September 2016

Thimerosal as discrimination: vaccine disparity in the UN Minamata Convention on mercury.

Indian J Med Ethics 2014 Oct-Dec;11(4):206-18. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

CoMeD, Inc, Silver Spring, MD; Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, Silver Spring, MD United States.

When addressing toxins, one unmistakable parallel exists between biology and politics: developing children and developing nations are those most vulnerable to toxic exposures. This disturbing parallel is the subject of this critical review, which examines the use and distribution of the mercury (Hg)-based compound, thimerosal, in vaccines. Developed in 1927, thimerosal is 49.55% Hg by weight and breaks down in the body into ethyl-Hg chloride, ethyl-Hg hydroxide and sodium thiosalicylate. Since the early 1930s, there has been evidence indicating that thimerosal poses a hazard to the health of human beings and is ineffective as an antimicrobial agent. While children in the developed and predominantly western nations receive doses of mostly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal vaccines, children in the developing nations receive many doses of several unreduced thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Thus, thimerosal has continued to be a part of the global vaccine supply and its acceptability as a component of vaccine formulations remained unchallenged until 2010, when the United Nations (UN), through the UN Environment Programme, began negotiations to write the global, legally binding Minamata Convention on Hg. During the negotiations, TCVs were dropped from the list of Hg-containing products to be regulated. Consequently, a double standard in vaccine safety, which previously existed due to ignorance and economic reasons, has now been institutionalised as global policy. Ultimately, the Minamata Convention on Hg has sanctioned the inequitable distribution of thimerosal by specifically exempting TCVs from regulation, condoning a two-tier standard of vaccine safety: a predominantly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal standard for developed nations and a predominantly thimerosal-containing one for developing nations. This disparity must now be evaluated urgently as a potential form of institutionalised discrimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2014.054DOI Listing
June 2016

New science challenges old notion that mercury dental amalgam is safe.

Biometals 2014 Feb 14;27(1):19-24. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, ChampionsGate, FL, 33896, USA,

Mercury dental amalgam has a long history of ostensibly safe use despite its continuous release of mercury vapor. Two key studies known as the Children's Amalgam Trials are widely cited as evidence of safety. However, four recent reanalyses of one of these trials now suggest harm, particularly to boys with common genetic variants. These and other studies suggest that susceptibility to mercury toxicity differs among individuals based on multiple genes, not all of which have been identified. These studies further suggest that the levels of exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgams may be unsafe for certain subpopulations. Moreover, a simple comparison of typical exposures versus regulatory safety standards suggests that many people receive unsafe exposures. Chronic mercury toxicity is especially insidious because symptoms are variable and nonspecific, diagnostic tests are often misunderstood, and treatments are speculative at best. Throughout the world, efforts are underway to phase down or eliminate the use of mercury dental amalgam.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10534-013-9700-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905169PMC
February 2014

Thimerosal exposure and the role of sulfation chemistry and thiol availability in autism.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2013 Aug 20;10(8):3771-800. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., Silver Spring, MD 20905, USA.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder in which a significant number of the children experience a developmental regression characterized by a loss of previously acquired skills and abilities. Typically reported are losses of verbal, nonverbal, and social abilities. Several recent studies suggest that children diagnosed with an ASD have abnormal sulfation chemistry, limited thiol availability, and decreased glutathione (GSH) reserve capacity, resulting in a compromised oxidation/reduction (redox) and detoxification capacity. Research indicates that the availability of thiols, particularly GSH, can influence the effects of thimerosal (TM) and other mercury (Hg) compounds. TM is an organomercurial compound (49.55% Hg by weight) that has been, and continues to be, used as a preservative in many childhood vaccines, particularly in developing countries. Thiol-modulating mechanisms affecting the cytotoxicity of TM have been identified. Importantly, the emergence of ASD symptoms post-6 months of age temporally follows the administration of many childhood vaccines. The purpose of the present critical review is provide mechanistic insight regarding how limited thiol availability, abnormal sulfation chemistry, and decreased GSH reserve capacity in children with an ASD could make them more susceptible to the toxic effects of TM routinely administered as part of mandated childhood immunization schedules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10083771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774468PMC
August 2013

Thiol-redox antioxidants protect against lung vascular endothelial cytoskeletal alterations caused by pulmonary fibrosis inducer, bleomycin: comparison between classical thiol-protectant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, and novel thiol antioxidant, N,N'-bis-2-mercaptoethyl isophthalamide.

Toxicol Mech Methods 2012 Jun;22(5):383-96

Lipid Signaling, Lipidomics, and Vasculotoxicity Laboratory, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Lung vascular alterations and pulmonary hypertension associated with oxidative stress have been reported to be involved in idiopathic lung fibrosis (ILF). Therefore, here, we hypothesize that the widely used lung fibrosis inducer, bleomycin, would cause cytoskeletal rearrangement through thiol-redox alterations in the cultured lung vascular endothelial cell (EC) monolayers. We exposed the monolayers of primary bovine pulmonary artery ECs to bleomycin (10 µg) and studied the cytotoxicity, cytoskeletal rearrangements, and the macromolecule (fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, 70,000 mol. wt.) paracellular transport in the absence and presence of two thiol-redox protectants, the classic water-soluble N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and the novel hydrophobic N,N'-bis-2-mercaptoethyl isophthalamide (NBMI). Our results revealed that bleomycin induced cytotoxicity (lactate dehydrogenase leak), morphological alterations (rounding of cells and filipodia formation), and cytoskeletal rearrangement (actin stress fiber formation and alterations of tight junction proteins, ZO-1 and occludin) in a dose-dependent fashion. Furthermore, our study demonstrated the formation of reactive oxygen species, loss of thiols (glutathione, GSH), EC barrier dysfunction (decrease of transendothelial electrical resistance), and enhanced paracellular transport (leak) of macromolecules. The observed bleomycin-induced EC alterations were attenuated by both NAC and NBMI, revealing that the novel hydrophobic thiol-protectant, NBMI, was more effective at µM concentrations as compared to the water-soluble NAC that was effective at mM concentrations in offering protection against the bleomycin-induced EC alterations. Overall, the results of the current study suggested the central role of thiol-redox in vascular EC dysfunction associated with ILF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/15376516.2012.673089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3914546PMC
June 2012

Novel lipid-soluble thiol-redox antioxidant and heavy metal chelator, N,N'-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide (NBMI) and phospholipase D-specific inhibitor, 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI) attenuate mercury-induced lipid signaling leading to protection against cytotoxicity in aortic endothelial cells.

Int J Toxicol 2011 Dec 12;30(6):619-38. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Lipid Signaling, Lipidomics, and Vasculotoxicity Laboratory, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Dorothy M. Davis Heartand Lung Research Institute and Division of Pharmacology, Colleges of Medicineand Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Here, we investigated thiol-redox-mediated phospholipase D (PLD) signaling as a mechanism of mercury cytotoxicity in mouse aortic endothelial cell (MAEC) in vitro model utilizing the novel lipid-soluble thiol-redox antioxidant and heavy metal chelator, N,N'-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide (NBMI) and the novel PLD-specific inhibitor, 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI). Our results demonstrated (i) mercury in the form of mercury(II) chloride, methylmercury, and thimerosal induced PLD activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner; (ii) NBMI and FIPI completely attenuated mercury- and oxidant-induced PLD activation; (iii) mercury induced upstream phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) leading to downstream threonine phosphorylation of PLD(1) which was attenuated by NBMI; (iv) mercury caused loss of intracellular glutathione which was restored by NBMI; and (v) NBMI and FIPI attenuated mercury- and oxidant-induced cytotoxicity in MAECs. For the first time, this study demonstrated that redox-dependent and PLD-mediated bioactive lipid signaling was involved in mercury-induced vascular EC cytotoxicity which was protected by NBMI and FIPI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1091581811422413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3503146PMC
December 2011

Mercury toxicity presenting as chronic fatigue, memory impairment and depression: diagnosis, treatment, susceptibility, and outcomes in a New Zealand general practice setting (1994-2006).

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2006 Aug;27(4):415-23

Northland Environmental Health Clinic, 2 Dip Rd, Kamo, Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand.

In a group of 465 patients diagnosed as having chronic mercury toxicity (CMT), 32.3% had severe fatigue, 88.8% had memory loss, and 27.5% had depression. A significant correlation was found between CMT and the Apo-lipoprotein E4 genotype (p=0.001). An investigation into an additional 864 consecutively seen general practice patients, resulted in 30.3% having evidence consistent with CMT, and once again a significant correlation was found with the APO-E4 genotype (p=0.001). Removal of amalgam mercury fillings when combined with appropriate treatment resulted in a significant symptom reduction (p<0.001) to levels reported by healthy subjects.
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August 2006

Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children.

Int J Toxicol 2003 Jul-Aug;22(4):277-85

SafeMinds, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Reported rates of autism have increased sharply in the United States and the United Kingdom. One possible factor underlying these increases is increased exposure to mercury through thimerosal-containing vaccines, but vaccine exposures need to be evaluated in the context of cumulative exposures during gestation and early infancy. Differential rates of postnatal mercury elimination may explain why similar gestational and infant exposures produce variable neurological effects. First baby haircut samples were obtained from 94 children diagnosed with autism using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM IV) criteria and 45 age- and gender-matched controls. Information on diet, dental amalgam fillings, vaccine history, Rho D immunoglobulin administration, and autism symptom severity was collected through a maternal survey questionnaire and clinical observation. Hair mercury levels in the autistic group were 0.47 ppm versus 3.63 ppm in controls, a significant difference. The mothers in the autistic group had significantly higher levels of mercury exposure through Rho D immunoglobulin injections and amalgam fillings than control mothers. Within the autistic group, hair mercury levels varied significantly across mildly, moderately, and severely autistic children, with mean group levels of 0.79, 0.46, and 0.21 ppm, respectively. Hair mercury levels among controls were significantly correlated with the number of the mothers' amalgam fillings and their fish consumption as well as exposure to mercury through childhood vaccines, correlations that were absent in the autistic group. Hair excretion patterns among autistic infants were significantly reduced relative to control. These data cast doubt on the efficacy of traditional hair analysis as a measure of total mercury exposure in a subset of the population. In light of the biological plausibility of mercury's role in neurodevelopmental disorders, the present study provides further insight into one possible mechanism by which early mercury exposures could increase the risk of autism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10915810305120DOI Listing
July 2004