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Brain Inj. 1996 May;10(5):377-84.

Chronic elemental mercury intoxication: neuropsychological follow-up case study.

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Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


In initial and follow-up investigations of neuropsychological function in a patient with elemental mercury intoxication, his scores were compared with those of a group of normal control subjects matched for sex, age and education. Each subject received a comprehensive neuropsychological examination including a personality inventory. On the initial examination the results indicated that the patient had a significant depression of performance intellectual functioning, impairments of attention, non-verbal short-term memory and visual judgement of angles and directions, psychomotor retardation and personality changes including depression, anxiety, desire to be alone, lack of interest and sensitivity to physical problems. Such an impairment picture is compatible with the previous observations of individuals with chronic exposure to elemental, organic or inorganic mercury. The follow-up study was undertaken about 1.5 years later. The results show that the patient's cognitive and personality functions were fully recovered. Our findings thus suggest a reversibility of impaired neuropsychological function in persons with elemental mercury poisoning if a prompt removal from the toxic environment is accomplished, together with proper medical treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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