High signal intensity on magnetic resonance imaging is a better predictor of neurobehavioral performances than blood manganese in asymptomatic welders
- Alternative Author(s)
- Chung, In Sung
- Publication Year
- Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate subclinical neurological effects in welders, using an
extensive list of neurobehavioral batteries and determine if there is a link between pallidal index (PI) and
subclinical neurobehavioral effects in the spectrum of manganese (Mn) symptomatology.
Methods: A total of 43 asymptomatic male welders and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy control
individuals completed questionnaires, and underwent blood examinations, brain magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) scans, and a wide range of neurobehavioral examinations.
Results: Digit symbol, auditory verbal learning test (delayed recall), complex figure test (copy and
immediate recall), digit span, verbal fluency test, Stroop test, grooved pegboard, finger tapping,
frequency dispersion and harmonic index of tremor, and maximum frequency of hand coordination
showed differences between welders and control individuals. No differences were noted for simple
reaction time, postural sway, smell test, and profile ofmood states (POMS). Blood Mn levels were shown
to be significantly associated with grooved pegboard (dominant hand) and complex figure test (copy)
results. PI was significantly associated with digit symbol, digit span backward, Stroop Word and Stroop
error index, and grooved pegboard (dominant hand) results.
Conclusions: The present findings that there were significant correlations between several neurobehavioral
deficits and PI as well as blood Mn suggest that they may be attributed to Mn exposure in
welding fumes. The present study also shows that PI is a better predictor of neurobehavioral
performance than blood Mn levels in asymptomatic welders.
2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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