Epidemiology of organomercury poisoning in Iraq. III. Clinical features and their changes with time.
Three categories of mercury poisoning were defined in the survey described by Al-Mufti et al. (see page 23) and the age-specific incidence rates for these are given. Persons with physical signs consistent with a diagnosis of organomercury poisoning were allocated to categories of severe disability or mild/moderate disability. However, the largest category consisted of persons who had symptoms but no readily elicitable physical signs at the time of the survey. These symptoms followed a consistent pattern with paraesthesia involving the lips and/or circumoral region or trunk and difficulty with walking, described as weakness or unsteadiness of the legs, and in some cases repeated falls, forming the most commonly occurring symptom complex. Mean maximum hair mercury levels differentiated this group very clearly from the group with no symptoms of mercury poisoning. Very few people in the area of low exposure complained of such symptoms; where they did occur they were less well related to the time of the outbreak and showed little tendency to improve. Most people reported improvement in their symptoms by the time of the survey, with more improvement in some symptoms than in others. However, it is not known whether those people with symptoms only at the time of the survey had had at an earlier stage mild signs which had cleared. It was thought unlikely that further substantial improvement would occur in those persons with disability at the time of the survey. (+info)
Intoxication due to alkylmercury-treated seed--1971-72 outbreak in Iraq: clinical aspects.
Sixty-six hospitalized patients suffering from chronic methylmercury poisoning were examined in Baghdad during 1972. The poisoning was attributed to consumption of home-made bread prepared from seed wheat treated with mercurial fungicide. The age incidence ranged between 4 and 70 years.Of the various clinical features encountered, neurological symptoms and signs were predominant and included muscular weakness, numbness, unsteady gait, paraesthesia, dysarthria, mental disturbances and, in severe cases, blindness, partial deafness, stupor, coma, and death. Involvement of the cardiovascular, urinary, gastrointestinal and haemopoietic systems, which was commonly encountered in ethylmercury poisoning in the 1960 outbreak in Iraq, was unusual.The severity of symptoms and signs was, broadly speaking, dose-dependent; high exposure led to severe clinical manifestations, but variations existed. Criteria, based on the clinical manifestations, were set for grading the severity of cases. The series included 2 asymptomatic cases, 20 mild, 20 moderate, 14 severe, and 10 very severe. In the latter group 5 patients died from failure of the central nervous system.The severely poisoned patients died irrespective of the medical treatment received. After 2 years of observation, most patients graded as mild or moderate cases lost their symptoms completely. Severe cases improved slowly, although ataxia, diminution of visual field and acuity and paraesthesia were still present. Thus, the previously accepted view that neurological signs were irreversible has been disproved. (+info)
Clinical observations on treatment of alkylmercury poisoning in hospital patients.
Twenty-six patients suffering from methylmercury poisoning were treated by different therapeutic regimes. Seven received penicillamine or N-acetyl-d-L-penicillamine, 10 were treated with dimercaprol sulfonate and 9, who could not be treated, were given a placebo and were used as controls. Penicillamine, N-acetyl-d-L-penicillamine, and dimercaprol sulfonate reduced the blood level of mercury and increased its urinary excretion. No appreciable clinical improvement was noticed among the severe or very severe cases, while mild or moderate cases improved clinically irrespective of the treatment given. (+info)
Dimerization of papain induced by mercuric chloride and a bifunctional organic mercurial.
The bifunctional mercurial meso-1,4-bis(acetatomercuri)-2,3-diethoxybutane and mercuric chloride are capable of dimerizing papain, by the attachment of the thiol group of two molecules of papain to each molecule of reagent. This is evident from the titration data, gel filtration and sedimentation equilibrium. The conformational change of papain necessary for this reaction is discussed. (+info)
Synthesis, structure, and reactivity of two-coordinate mercury alkyl compounds with sulfur ligands: relevance to mercury detoxification.