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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oil in the Gulf, Methyl-murcury in Japan: Lessons to be learned

As our attention focuses with the intense media coverage of the BP crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico we need not forget some other industrial disasters. With a recent legal settlement that spans a half-century there comes some compensation to survivors of methyl mercury poisoning in Minamata Japan first discovered in the 1950's.


Agreement reached to settle Minamata suit



KUMAMOTO--A group of 2,123 uncertified victims of Minamata mercury poisoning agreed Monday with three defendants--the state, the Kumamoto prefectural government and Chisso Corp., the company that discharged mercury into the sea--to accept a Kumamoto District Court proposal to settle their damages suit.

The deal offers a lump-sum payment of 2.1 million yen ($22,700) and monthly medical allowances to each plaintiff, along with an additional fund of 2.95 billion yen for the group.

A formal settlement is expected by the end of the year, after a third-party panel determines whether each plaintiff should be covered by the settlement. Should some not be covered, the group will compensate them from its fund.

A relief law enacted last year means that the government will provide similar levels of relief to other patients, totalling nearly 40,000, who are not officially recognized and not part of the suit.

Symptoms of Minamata Disease [methyl-mercury poisoning] include numbness in the limbs, cramps, and problems with speaking, vision and hearing. The disease can also affect fetuses in the womb.


this photograph succinctly illustrates the effect of Minamata disease on the human body
this historic photograph is of Tomoko Uemura's crippled hand, a victim of mercury poisoning in Japan (d. 1977)

Eto K et al. – This report provides a brief research history and overview of the pathological changes of MD, and also presents representative cases of adult, infantile and fetal forms of MD among the 450 MD–related autopsy cases in Kumamoto Prefecture.

The pathology of methylmercury poisoning (Minamata disease)
The 50th Anniversary of Japanese Society of Neuropathology
Komyo Eto, 1 Masumi Marumoto 2 and Motohiro Takeya 3
1 Health and Nursing Facilities for the Aged, Jushindai, Shinwakai, 2 Pathology Section, Department of Basic Medicine, National Institute for Minamata Disease, and 3 Department of Cell Pathology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan

Correspondence to Komyo Eto, Director, Health and Nursing Facilities for the Aged, Jushindai, Shinwakai, 272 Ikura Kitakata, Tamana City, Kumamoto 865-0041, Japan. Email:


Methylmercury (Me-Hg) poisoning (Minamata disease: MD) is one of the most severe types of disease caused by humans to humans in Japan. The disease is a special class of food-borne methylmercury intoxication in humans as typified by the outbreak that began in 1953 in Minamata and its vicinity in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. There are 450 autopsy cases in Kumamoto and 30 autopsy cases in Niigata Prefecture related to MD in Japan. Two hundred and one cases in Kumamoto and 22 cases in Niigata showed pathological changes of MD. This report provides a brief research history and overview of the pathological changes of MD, and also presents representative cases of adult, infantile and fetal forms of MD among the 450 MD-related autopsy cases in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Received 18 February 2010 and accepted 8 March 2010.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Treasure every moment on planet Earth

To realize the value of a sister/brother, ask someone who doesnt have one.
To realize
the value of ten years, ask a newly divorced couple.
To realize
the value of four years, ask a graduate.
To realize
the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize
the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
To realize
the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize
the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize
the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize
the value of one-second, ask a person who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dr. Saleeby to talk about bioidentical thyroid HRT

Dr. Saleeby is to talk and present a PowerPoint presentation in August 2010 at Pure Compounding Pharmacy in Myrtle Beach. For more details and to reserve a spot for this free lecture please visit:

Dr. Saleeby will discuss natural versus synthetic hormone replacement, choices you have with T4 alone and in combination with T3 (both synthetic and natural), sustained release preparations, Armour thyroid and others.

A brief lay-persons review of thyroid hormones, the hypothylamic-thyroid axis and the pharmacology and pathophysiology of hypothyroidism will also be discussed.

In the News

Week's Best Articles: Integrative Medicine

May 26, 2010 - June 2, 2010

This week's most-read articles by US physician subscribers

Hidden hazards in fruits and veggies
Washington Post (AP) 06/01/2010
10 minutes of exercise, hour-long effects
The Seattle Times 06/01/2010

Anti-aging supplements may be best taken not too late in life
EurekAlert 05/25/2010

Memantine for the Treatment of Migraine
U.S. Pharmacist 05/25/2010

The "broken heart sydrome": you’re likely to have it only once!
Singapore Medical Journal 05/28/2010

Influence of Ghrelin and Growth Hormone Deficiency on AMP-Activated Protein Kinase and Hypothalamic Lipid Metabolism
Journal of Neuroendocrinology 05/28/2010

Resveratrol regulates human adipocyte number and function in a Sirt1-dependent manner
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 05/27/2010
Cellular Aging Reflected by Leukocyte Telomere Length Predicts Advanced Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 05/28/2010

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