by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, Ph.D.
©2000 Dietrich Klinghardt
(Explore Issue: Volume 10, Number 1)
In the late phase of the Roman Empire, it was considered a privilege of the reigning aristocracy to drink out of lead cups and many of the water lines in the city of Rome were made out of lead pipes. It took several hundred years before the physicians of the time established the link between mental illness — affecting mostly the aristocracy — and the contamination of the drinking water with lead.
In the 1700s, the use of mercury for the treatment of both acute and chronic infections gained favor and again, it took decades before the neuro-toxic and immuno-suppressive effects of mercury were well documented within the medical community. In the time of Mozart, who died of mercury toxicity during a course of treatment for syphilis, any pathologist in Vienna was familiar with the …