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Neurotoxicology. 2012 Aug;33(4):703-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2012.02.008. Epub 2012 Feb 18.

Multimodal event-related potentials in occupational chronic solvent encephalopathy.

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  • 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Occupational Medicine, Brain and Work Research Centre, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250, Helsinki, Finland.


The aim of this study was to test a multimodal event-related potential (ERP) paradigm in chronic solvent encephalopathy (CSE) to develop a sensitive method for the clinical diagnostics to CSE. The study comprised 11 CSE patients and 13 healthy controls. We used three tasks: an auditory odd-ball (AUD), a visual detection (VIS), and a recognition memory (MEM) task. The auditory and visual stimuli were presented in single- and dual-task conditions. The auditory P300 amplitude in single-task condition was smaller in the patient group than in the control group at the parietal (Pz) but not at the frontal midline electrode location. The auditory P300 response in the dual task condition AUD+VIS was unrecognizable in 8 of 11 patients and in 1 of 13 controls and in the AUD+MEM condition in 10 of 11 patients and in 4 of 13 controls. In the AUD+MEM condition, the auditory P300 amplitude at Pz was smaller in the patient group than in the control group. Reaction time for auditory stimuli in both dual conditions as well as for visual stimuli in AUD+VIS condition were in the patient group prolonged. The ERP results indicate that CSE patients present with slowed performance speed and difficulties in allocation of attention. Based on ERP results, the disturbance in brain activity in CSE seems to affect posterior aspects of the frontoparietal continuity. The multimodal paradigm seems promising as a tool for the clinical diagnostics of CSE.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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