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Neurotoxicology. 2012 Aug;33(4):687-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2012.01.005. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Tremor, olfactory and motor changes in Italian adolescents exposed to historical ferro-manganese emission.

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1
Occupational Health, University of Brescia, Italy. lucchini@med.unibs.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Increased prevalence of Parkinsonism was observed in Valcamonica, Italy, a region impacted by ferroalloy plants emissions containing manganese and other metals for a century until 2001. The aim of this study was to assess neurobehavioral functions in adolescents from the impacted region and the reference area of Garda Lake.

METHODS:

Adolescents age 11-14 years were recruited through the school system for neuro-behavioral testing. Metals including manganese, lead, iron, zinc, copper were measured in airborne particulate matter collected with 24-h personal samplers, and in soil, tap water, blood, urine and hair. Independent variables included parental education and socio-economic status, children's body mass index, number of siblings, parity order, smoking and drinking habits.

RESULTS:

A total of 311 subjects (49.2% females), residing in either the exposed (n=154) or the reference (n=157) area participated. Average airborne and soil manganese were respectively 49.5 ng/m(3) (median 31.4, range 1.24-517) and 958 ppm (median 897, range 465-1729) in the impacted area, and 27.4 ng/m(3) (median 24.7, range 5.3-85.9) ng/m(3) and 427 ppm (median 409 range 160-734) in the reference area. Regression models showed significant impairment of motor coordination (Luria-Nebraska test, p=0.0005), hand dexterity (Aiming Pursuit test, p=0.0115) and odor identification (Sniffin' task, p=0.003) associated with soil manganese. Tremor intensity was positively associated with blood (p=0.005) and hair (p=0.01) manganese.

CONCLUSION:

Historical environmental exposure to manganese from ferroalloy emission reflected by the concentration in soil and the biomarkers was associated with sub-clinical deficits in olfactory and motor function among adolescents.

PMID:
22322213
PMCID:
PMC3360122
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuro.2012.01.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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