The mercury from amalgam fillings in a mother's teeth could be a cause of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) in her children. Mercury from fillings and the environment can affect the brain of a developing foetus, say American researchers.
A direct link was found between levels of mercury in the mother's hair at the time of birth and the likelihood of the child developing ADHD. For every 1 mcg/g (microgramme per gramme) of mercury in the mother's hair sample, the child was 1.4 times more likely to be inattentive and 1.7 times more likely to display impulsivity and hyperactivity by the age of eight.
Researchers from Boston University School of Public Health made another discovery that points the finger of suspicion at amalgam fillings: the methylmercury found in fish doesn't seem to be a cause of ADHD. In fact, say the researchers, it seems to have a protective effect, so contradicting public-health warnings for pregnant women to avoid fish in their diet. In fact, having more than two servings of oily fish a week during pregnancy could protect the child against ADHD, say the researchers.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2012; 166: 1123-31