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Kawasaki's Disease, Acrodynia, and Mercury

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Abstract:

A superantigen or autoimmunity has been hypothesized to be the main cause of the Kawasaki's Disease but the etiology is unknown. Medical literature, epidemiological findings, and some case reports have suggested that mercury may play a pathogenic role. Several patients with Kawasaki's Disease have presented with elevated urine mercury levels compared to matched controls. Most symptoms and diagnostic criteria which are seen in children with acrodynia, known to be caused by mercury, are similar to those seen in Kawasaki's Disease. Genetic depletion of glutathione S-transferase , a susceptibility marker for Kawasaki's Disease, is known to be also a risk factor for acrodynia and may also increase susceptibility to mercury . Coinciding with the largest increase (1985-1990) of thimerosal (49.6% ethyl mercury) in vaccines, routinely given to infants in the U.S. by 6 months of age (from 75μg to 187.5μg), the rates of Kawasaki's Disease increased ten times, and, later (1985-1997), by 20 times. Since 1990 88 cases of patients developing Kawasaki's Disease some days after vaccination have been reported to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) including 19% manifesting symptoms the same day. The presented pathogenetic model may lead to new preventive- and therapeutic strategies for Kawasaki's disease.

Keywords: Kawasaki's disease; acrodynia; dental amalgam; ethyl mercury; mercury; methyl mercury; thimerosal; vaccine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986708786848712

Affiliations: Department of Environmental and Complementary Medicine, Salusmed Medical Center, Wieslistrasse 34, CH - 8267 Berlingen, Switzerland.

Publication date: December 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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