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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 May;8(5):1478-90. doi: 10.3390/ijerph8051478. Epub 2011 May 10.

Quantitative analysis of tremors in welders.

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  • 1College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. jsramos@health.usf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Workers chronically exposed to manganese in welding fumes may develop an extra-pyramidal syndrome with postural and action tremors.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the utility of tremor analysis in distinguishing tremors among workers exposed to welding fumes, patients with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (IPD) and Essential Tremor (ET).

METHODS:

Retrospective study of recorded tremor in subjects from academic Movement Disorders Clinics and Welders. Quantitative tremor analysis was performed and associated with clinical status.

RESULTS:

Postural tremor intensity was increased in Welders and ET and was associated with visibly greater amplitude of tremor with arms extended. Mean center frequencies (Cf) of welders and patients with ET were significantly higher than the mean Cf of PD subjects. Although both the welders and the ET group exhibited a higher Cf with arms extended, welders could be distinguished from the ET subjects by a significantly lower Cf of the rest tremor than that measured in ET subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the context of an appropriate exposure history and neurological examination, tremor analysis may be useful in the diagnosis of manganese-related extra-pyramidal manifestations.

KEYWORDS:

Parkinson’s Disease; accelerometer; manganese; toxicity; tremor

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