Archives for January 2014

Identifying Individuals at Risk of Developing ASIA Syndrome

Vera Stejskal, PhD is Associate Professor of Immunology at University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder and president of the MELISA Medica Foundation. Stejskal discusses in a recent editorial article in the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) how, despite widespread exposure to metals, only a minority of people develop allergic and autoimmune disorders such as ASIA syndrome (1). In order to protect these individuals, identifying clinical and laboratory markers of susceptibility is key. Mercury and other metals can be added to the list of environmental agents that contribute to ASIA syndrome. Together with screening for autoantibodies, metal-specific T cells can be used  to identify at-risk individuals. Dr. Stejskal is a CONEM member.

Stejskal V. Mercury-induced inflammation: yet another example of ASIA syndrome. Isr Med Assoc J 2013; 15: 714–715.

More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing the Most Common Diseases (Lecture)

Michael Greger, MD presents in this lecture the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions. Dr. Greger  is a CONEM member.

NutritionFacts org


A Psychiatrist’s Perspective on Antidepressants

Kelly Brogan, MD is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist in New York who believes in root-cause resolution of symptoms over pharma-driven disease-management. In this short video, she talks about four principal tenets that may undermine your current understanding of the efficacy and safety of antidepressant medication. Dr. Brogan is a CONEM member.


Agent-Centered Deontology: The Minamata Convention on Mercury and Dentistry’s Role

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global, legally binding treaty which opened for signature on October 10, 2013 in Japan. To address the global oral health and environmental impact of mercury dental amalgam fillings, first author Tim K. Mackey and co-authors John T. Contreras and Bryan A. Liang collaborated on a peer-reviewed scientific journal article entitled The Minamata Convention on Mercury: Attempting to address the global controversy of dental amalgam use and mercury waste disposal published by Elsevier in Science of the Total Environment (1). The article gives an introduction to the international debate regarding mercury use in dental amalgam, examines the unresolved global dental amalgam controversy from an environmental and dental professional society perspective, describes the Convention’s provisions to phase-down the use of dental amalgam, and proposes a tiered programmatic policy approach to strengthen the implementation phase of the Convention.

On behalf of the United States of America, the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs simultaneously signed and ratified the Convention on November 6, 2013. The nation’s quick ratification of the treaty reflects the belief that the country can implement treaty-bound obligations under existing legislative and regulatory authority. To offer their opinion on the clinical dentist’s amalgam governance leadership role in America, first author John T. Contreras and co-authors Tim K. Mackey and Bryan A. Liang collaborated on a viewpoint article entitled Global Amalgam Governance: The Need for Clinician Leadership – Grassroots education and action from dentists are needed next steps, published by AEGIS Communications in Inside Dentistry (2). The article addresses the following matters of concern: the treaty’s permissive language regarding mercury amalgam use and disposal; mercury vapor exposure to patients and dental workers; mercury amalgam waste contamination of the environment; the dental clinician’s role as a leading stakeholder in choosing to continue, phasedown, or phaseout use of amalgam; and the dental professional’s ethical and legal duties to society. According to the authors, the future of global oral health and protection of the environment likely depends on clinical dentists’ leadership. John T. Contreras, D.D.S. is a CONEM member.



1. Mackey TK, Contreras JT, Liang BA. The Minamata Convention on Mercury: Attempting to address the global controversy of dental amalgam use and mercury waste disposal. Sci Total Environ 2013; 472C: 125-129.

2. Contreras JT, Mackey TK, Liang BA. Global amalgam governance: The need for clinician leadership. Grassroots education and action from dentists are needed next steps. Inside Dentistry 2014; 10 (1): 30-32. (13.1. 2014).