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Neurotoxicology. 2006 May;27(3):327-32. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Parkinsonism due to manganism in a welder: neurological and neuropsychological sequelae.

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San Francisco State University, CA, United States.


A 33-year-old welder with 3 years of exposure to manganese (Mn) bearing welding fumes was seen by neurologists for cognitive and motor complaints. He exhibited signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including tremor, bradykinesia, gait disturbance and cogwheel rigidity. However, he was young and had significant inattention and forgetfulness, had found levodopa unhelpful and moved with a cock-walk gait, all of which suggested manganism. His serum and urine levels of Mn were, in fact, elevated, and his brain MRI had increased T1-weighted signal intensities in the basal ganglia bilaterally (globus pallidus) consistent with Mn deposition. Two years later, he underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing. Clinical history indicated a mild tremor and emotional dysfunction with irritability, anxiety, and depression with psychotic features. He showed deficits in cognitive flexibility, information processing and speed, and greatly reduced motor speed, which are consistent with a fronto-subcortical process. These findings support a diagnosis of early onset parkinsonism from welding.

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