The Burning Brain, Its Cause and Cure

Updated January 2007

A Burning Brain is Frightening

I did not find "burning brain" as one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning in any list when I was looking for symptoms of mercury poisoning in 2001. I searched on the Internet for "symptom-burning brain," and could not find anything.

It is so frightening to have a "hot spot" in your brain or to feel that your "brain is on fire." I lay in my bed at nights before I was diagnosed with mercury toxicity imagining all the holes that were being caused in my blood brain barrier by this burning. I had learned of the blood brain barrier in my research on the internet, though I didn't know quite what it was. My hometown neurologist could not tell me why my brain burned, but thought it was improbable that I had mercury poisoning. But then he confessed, "he knew little about mercury poisoning."

After being diagnosed as mercury poisoned and being introduced to the ACAM neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, I found an article written by Dr. Perlmutter that I thought explained why my brain burned. He was addressing a conference of ACAM doctors in a lecture called "The Role of Inflammation in Chronic Diseases." Dr. Perlmutter explained that when combinations of toxins are in the brain (in my case aluminum, mercury and thallium) there is a synergistic effect on the damage they cause. He called this "a brain on fire."

Synergism-interaction of agents (as drugs), or conditions such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.
Others with Burning Brain Symptoms

I have come into contact with several mercury- poisoned people now, who are saying that their brains burned. I have two people in the United Kingdom who have contacted me with their brains on fire. I have stayed in close contact with them. Several people have contacted me in the states. One lady in Virginia said her brain burned just a little after a dental procedure involving mercury, and her neurologist didn't know why her brain burned either. Do not rule out mercury poisoning just because your brain does not burn. People with mercury poisoning experience varying symptoms.

I had a conversation with a friend in Roanoke several years ago who said he had a "hot spot" on top of his head. He chain smoked cigarettes so he was exposed to the heavy metal cadmium in the cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes increase the damage caused by mercury in your mouth because of the heat on the fillings. Any heat in the mouth causes the mercury to leak from the fillings and it takes 90 minutes for the mercury vapors from the fillings to calm down.

My friend also had a mouth full of mercury fillings with metal crowns over top of them (causing oral galvanism), and root canals that contain cadmium and possibly mercury. Then he exposed himself to lead poisoning by sanding down doors with old lead paint without wearing a mask. He also had been breathing paint fumes from painting cars.

When he talked to me he had lost his hair and what hair remained turned white overnight. He became panic stricken and when he went to work co workers were astonished saying, "Have you seen Ken? He became old overnight. What is wrong with him?"

I told him he needed to have a heavy metals test run by an ACAM doctor and start removing the metal safely from his mouth. Then he needed to detox the poisons out of his body. If he didn't he could end up with a neurological disease. But my friend was very paranoid-another symptom of mercury poisoning-- and was afraid to drive out of town to see a biological dentist. People who worked with him also knew he could be very angry at times. Some even avoided him. I haven't spoken to him for awhile, but his hair grew back, and he still probably has his mouth full of toxins.

In September of 2003, I had a conversation with another friend, Troy, and I explained to him how I had been poisoned. He said, "Well, Marie, that explains some of the things that have happened to me when I went to dentists." He explained that probably around seven years previous to 2003, he had a dentist at a state institution in Bland, Virginia to drill out two fillings. That is when the burning in his brain first started. He also had a headache that would not go away, not even with pain relievers. The burning gradually subsided, but it would come back when he would drink diet drinks that contained the sugar substitute aspartame. So he learned to avoid aspartame. He said that was when he first started experiencing memory loss.

Later my friend moved to Amelia, Virginia and he had several more mercury fillings drilled out. He did not put together the connection between his dental work and the burning in his brain. He just saw a connection with the aspartame exacerbating his symptoms. After this new dental work, where he was exposed to more mercury vapor, his brain burned again, the headaches reappeared and the memory loss was worse. Then his wife started complaining about his memory loss.

When I read the book Beating Alzheimer's by Tom Warren, I was very interested when he said when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's that his brain burned.

Toxins in the Brain Cause Free Radical Damage

I now understand that toxins in the brain cause free radical damage. So one must remove the toxic exposure to the heavy metal (by removing the mercury fillings, exposure to other heavy metals), and try to chelate (detox) the metal out of the body. EDTA chelation removes some heavy metal toxins but is not recommended for mercury. Dr. Boyd Haley warns against its use with mercury toxicity. DMSA removes mercury and lead.

Supplementation with antioxidants such as vitamin C helps to lesson the symptoms caused by free radical damage and inflammation caused by the toxins. Persons that are mercury poisoned frequently take 5000 to 6000 mg of Vitamin C a day. This helps to slow down the inflammation and burning that is associated with neurological disease. However, you need to work with your doctor to get on a balanced program of vitamins and minerals.

Get a subscription to Dr. Russell Blaylock's newsletters called the Blaylock Wellness Report. He is a neurosurgeon and has excellent advice on mercury toxicity, neurological diseases and supplements that help various conditions. You can order a years' subscription at You will have access to all his archives by subscribing.

Dr. David Perlmutter

I used to recommend the book BrainRecovery.Com, Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders by Dr. David Perlmutter, the doctor I mentioned above who gave the lecture to the ACAM convention on "The Role of Inflammation in Chronic Diseases." He is a board certified neurologist from Naples, Florida that belongs to ACAM. On the website Bernie Siegel, M.D. says of Dr. Perlmutter's book:
"...Should be available to everyone so true integrative therapy can become the normal method of treatment in the neurology field." Russell B. Roth, M.D. Past President, American Medical Association says: "Dr. Perlmutter provides sound advice, supported by the latest and most well respected medical research."

A book description on Amazon states:

With forwards by Bernie Siegel, MD and Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD--, Dr. David Perlmutter, internationally recognized leader in functional approaches to neurological diseases, explores the cutting edge of both mainstream and complementary medicine. Powerful, clinically proven techniques are revealed providing answers and hope for patients and families faced with challenging disorder including: Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Memory Loss, Stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Post-Polio Syndrome, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and more...

Though Dr. Permutter is an ACAM doctor and these doctors are known as chelation doctor, he does not stress testing for heavy metals in his first book, Brain He makes no mention of removing mercury fillings in his first book, but in the second book, The Better Brain Book, published in 2004, he mentions mercury to a greater extent.

He warns against eating fish with high levels of mercury.

This is what he says about mercury fillings:
Page 118 "Some physicians believe that long-term exposure to mercury from "silver" in your teeth can also cause toxic mercury buildup in the body. A chelating agent such as NAC may help prevent long-term damage from exposure to this brain-toxic heavy metal." (The book explains many supplements that are good for brain function.)

Page 148-149 "Fish is not the only way mercury gets into our bodies. Your mouth may be filled with mercury. About 80 percent of all American adults have mercury amalgam (so-called silver) fillings in their teeth. How much of a threat does it pose to your nervous system? The American Dental Association has said that once mercury is sealed in an amalgam, it is locked in and cannot escape. Scientific studies have shown, however, that a significant amount of mercury vapor does escape from mercury fillings and is absorbed by the body. Chewing, consuming hot foods, even brushing your teeth causes mercury to be released from amalgam fillings. I personally am convinced that mercury amalgams don't belong in your mouth. More than 10 years ago, I had my mercury amalgam fillings removed and replaced with porcelain. Nevertheless, I don't recommend this process for everyone. First, unless it is done absolutely correctly by a dentist who specializes in mercury removal, you can end up being exposed to even more mercury than if you kept your fillings. The removal of mercury fillings can release a significant amount of mercury into your bloodstream. If you do have mercury removed, I recommend undergoing chelation therapy .."

I visited Dr. Perlmutter in March of 2005, but he was not convinced I was mercury poisoned. I thought that because he had lectured on the brain being "on fire" because of toxins in the brain, he would understand my case. Was "brain on fire" just a figure of speech for him? It wasn't for me, because my brain was literally "on fire" nine days after my dentist drilled into a mercury filling.

Do you want to know why Dr. Perlmutter wasn't convinced I was mercury poisoned, even though my brain had been on fire, and he had said in his speech that toxins in the brain caused inflammation- causing a brain to be on fire?

Answer: Because he didn't understand why my test scores were low for mercury!

So, as of 2005, he was not keeping up with Dr. Boyd Haley's research on mercury toxicity, who says that if a person is a retainer of mercury, then it may not show up in the urine with a urine challenge test. Dr. Haley says the most effective test is the urinary porphyrin profile test.

Dr. Perlmutter also did not believe that Tom Warren had had Alzheimer's since he recovered from the disease.

I would use Dr. Perlmutter's books as an introduction to some alternative therapies for neurological diseases and for a list of good supplements for brain function. However, if you are looking for a good discussion on mercury's role is to neurological diseases, he doesn't go into any detail.

Perlmutter warns that the medication Parkinson's patients receive from their doctors will actually cause the symptoms to get worse in the long run. If you have a neurological disease find an ACAM doctor in your area that is experienced in heavy metal toxicity. Some ACAM doctors are also neurologists and some specialize in degenerative diseases, but I haven't found one neurologist yet that I can recommend. Some of the other alternative doctors may understand mercury toxicity and the brain better than a neurologist.

When you go to the ACAM site online you will see the specialties of each doctor listed beside his name. Be sure to see what the codes for the specialties are at the end of the list. (example NT=nutrition)

My Supplements for my Brain

I am glad I went to my local ACAM doctor at the Mt. Rogers Clinic when I was first poisoned because he recognized my mercury poisoning symptoms, even with my low mercury scores. He saw me at my worse, when I was first poisoned, had a metallic taste, was allergic to everything and was walking around like a zombie.

However, I do take the brain supplements that Dr. Perlmutter recommends for neurological diseases and take the vitamin B-12 shots he recommended that I order from a compounding pharmacist. B-12 is supposed to help build brain cells.

But beware, Dr. Hal Huggins, the dentist and researcher, does not recommend B-12 when you are mercury poisoned. He says it causes mercury to become the more deadly methyl mercury. I don't know if Dr. Boyd Haley agrees with Dr. Huggins opinion on B-12 or not.

Since Dr. Russell Blaylock, the neurosurgeon, recommends for anyone who has nerve damage to take 5 mg of the methyl form of vitamin B-12 every day, I also take 5 mg of Life Extension Methyl-Cobalamin daily on days I am not taking the shot. Regular cobalamin is not as easily utilized by the body and B-12 swallowed and going through the digestive tract may be partially destroyed. The sublingual form that is placed under the tongue and dissolved passes directly into the blood stream.

My brain is burning a lot less than when I was first poisoned. It is not constant and it comes and goes. The whole brain is not on fire, but just spots that burn. The spots move around. There could be other contributing factors such as ammonia, yeast, or parasites in the brain. But I haven't fully explored these ideas.

I have found that organic noni juice that I order from Dr. Richard Becker, D.O. who has a program on DirectTV satellite helps tremendously with central nervous system pain. This noni juice is not diluted with water. It tastes terrible, but I mix it with juices. If it doesn't help your central nervous system pain in your initial exposure to mercury, just freeze if for later use after you get your fillings out and have detoxed some. You can order this product at Bio Innovations.

So you can see there is a lot of disagreement on the proper methods of detoxification and supplementation and diagnosis even among the alternative health doctors. You will have to wade through these disagreements and choose who you will believe.

Mercury Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier

I received an article from the International Medical Verities Association that helps to explain in more detail why my brain was "on fire." According to this article, the brain becomes "on fire" when mercury penetrates the blood brain barrier.

"The growing understanding of the major role that oxidative stress and inflammation play in the development and progression of various pathologies is especially important in neurological disorders for inflammation is a central key to understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases. The "brain on fire" or "sparks," as Dr. Rashid Buttar calls it when mercury penetrates the blood brain barrier are actually important images that mirror what is happening in many brains. Dr. Buttar uses this image to accurately describe effect of each molecule and atom of mercury which acts like a spark that sets the brain on fire with inflammation."

Dr. Buttar, an ACAM doctor from North Carolina ( had a son who was mercury poisoned from vaccines, and successfully treated him. He no longer considers his son autistic.

After five years, I am beginning to get an accurate description of what happened to me. But what about all the children with mercury in their brains from the thimerosal in the vaccines with their brains on fire? Maybe that is why autistic children bang their heads against the wall. Maybe their brains are "on fire" from the mercury.

One four year old child that was mercury poisoned from the mercury exposure in the Kiddie Kollege Day Care in Franklinville, New Jersey was reported in a 2006 newspaper article saying, "Mommy, my brain is broken." Little children have a hard time describing the pain that is in their brains from mercury, but I think this child gave a pretty good description.

Other Chemical Exposures are Dangerous to the Brain

Exposures to chemicals, pesticides and industrial poisons also contribute to neurological diseases according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

But if you have a neurotoxin right in your mouth just inches from your brain, you must remove the mercury from your mouth to get rid of the toxic exposure. Also remove toxic metal crowns and toxic root canals. A biological dentist, an environmental doctor, along with the materials you receive from DAMS can advise you.

So my recommendation to you is this:

1. Order an information packet from DAMS concerning mercury toxicity from toxic dentistry. 1-651-644-4572. Get the name of a DAMS coordinator in your state that you can talk to.

2. Find a local ACAM doctor or environmental doctor experienced in treating toxic patients. See and

He will give you a heavy metals test. Mercury may not show up as high on a test if you are using a urine challenge test, but if you have mercury in your mouth and you have a neurological disease, you will still need to remove mercury fillings and detox your body. It is hard to test for mercury as it likes to hide in the brain and not come out for a urine heavy metals' test. Try to obtain the urinary porphyrin profile test. (pronounced poor' fur rin)

You can order a urine porphyrin profile test in the United States from Metametrix Clinical Laboratory at They are not allowed under FDA rules to provide an analysis of the test, but they can refer you to someone who can analyse the test for you. In Europe you can order the urine porphyrin test from the Laboratoire Philippe Auguste at

Laboratoire Philippe Auguste
119 Avenue Philippe Auguste
75011 Paris, France

For a description of the urine porphyrin test see

Some chelation doctors may say that your score for mercury is not high enough to detox your body of mercury. I disagree with this. King James Medical Laboratory states that there is no safe level of mercury in the body, and Dr. Boyd Haley, leading researcher of mercury in the USA, has testified before Congressional hearings on mercury dental fillings that there is no safe level of mercury in the body. And if you have other heavy metals in your body, the small amount of mercury will be intensified in your body. I say don't leave any mercury in your body. Get out as much as you can!

And please don't just settle for your doctor saying to you, "Your test results were low, and are not a problem." Get copies of the test results yourself and put them in your own files. You have a right to remove heavy metals from your body as much as possible. If you have mercury in your brain, the task is very difficult, and you may never remove it all.

Your doctor might not be aware to the latest research on heavy metals. Dr. Boyd Haley is saying that some of the most poisoned people may actually have low levels of mercury in their heavy metals testing scores because they are poor excretors of mercury. See the footnote on Marie's Story of Mercury Poisoning for an explanation of this.

3. Find a biological dentist to safely remove toxic fillings, crowns, and root canals from your mouth. Talk to your state DAMS coordinator before you choose your biological dentist. Make sure the biological dentist will properly protect you from mercury vapor. Consult the biological dentist to see which alternative health doctor he is participating with.

4. If at all possible, work with an alternative health doctor to help you with supplements and treatments. Do not go to Wal Mart and buy vitamins. Buy good quality pharmaceutical grade supplements. You need someone to help you figure out which supplements are appropriate for you. If you buy each one individually in a single bottle, you will just end up with a bag full of bottles and you may not even buy the correct form of the supplement that is the most effective. Also your doctor may have brain supplements or muti vitamins/mineral in combination in one packet. If you try to buy these by yourself, you may end up with multiple bottles of pills.

It is so sad that when a person has a neurological disease conventional medicine will not even check for heavy metals in the brain! Conventional doctors just diagnose a patient with a "label" whether it is Alzheimer's, ALS, MS, or Parkinson's. In older folks it is neurological diseases. In children exposed to heavy metals through their vaccines, it is some label along the autism spectrum disorder ranging from severe autism to learning disabilities.

Conventional doctors, neurologists included, won't check the body for heavy metals. And if you ask them to do a heavy metals test, they won't know which one to run. Improvements in these neurological conditions are increased by early detection of the heavy metals and the removal of these metals from the brain and the teeth. (DAN doctors may help remove metals from autistic children.)

If you need an alternative doctor to help a child with autism in Virginia, there is a doctor, Dr. Mary Megson, in Richmond, Virginia listed on the site. Just go to the American College for the Advancement in Medicine site ( and click on Virginia. Also in Lynchburg, Virginia is Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, who is researching the connection between vaccines and autistm.

If the traditional doctors won't even admit that the heavy metal ingredients in vaccines are causing autism, how can you expect a traditional doctor to help your child detox from the heavy metals in vaccines? How can these major teaching hospitals help you if they won't test properly for heavy metals and won't practice chelation to remove the metals? Mainstream doctors are not chelation doctors. If you have an illness related to heavy metals, you need a chelation doctor. Chelation doctors have been removing metals for years.

Doctors belonging to the American College for the Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) are located at

Another group of doctors who may understand heavy metals are environmental doctors belonging to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. Their website is located at Doctors belonging to The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology are located at

Mercury and other heavy metals are the major contributor to neurological diseases according to Dr. Mercola ( in Chicago. Neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock said the same thing on Pat Robertson's 700 Club and in his excellent new letters you can order from

DAMS International Mercury Amalgam Toxic Metals Research

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