Manganese exposure and cognitive deficits: a growing concern for manganese neurotoxicity

Neurotoxicology. 2012 Aug;33(4):872-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


This symposium comprised five oral presentations dealing with recent findings on Mn-related cognitive and motor changes from epidemiological studies across the life span. The first contribution highlighted the usefulness of functional neuroimaging of the central nervous system (CNS) to evaluate cognitive as well as motor deficits in Mn-exposed welders. The second dealt with results of two prospective studies in Mn-exposed workers or welders showing that after decrease of Mn exposure the outcome of reversibility in adverse CNS effects may differ for motor and cognitive function and, in addition the issue of plasma Mn as a reliable biomarker for Mn exposure in welders has been addressed. The third presentation showed a brief overview of the results of an ongoing study assessing the relationship between environmental airborne Mn exposure and neurological or neuropsychological effects in adult Ohio residents living near a Mn point source. The fourth paper focused on the association between blood Mn and neurodevelopment in early childhood which seems to be sensitive to both low and high Mn concentrations. The fifth contribution gave an overview of six studies indicating a negative impact of excess environmental Mn exposure from air and drinking water on children's cognitive performance, with special attention to hair Mn as a potential biomarker of exposure. These studies highlight a series of questions about Mn neurotoxicity with respect to cognitive processes, forms and routes of exposure, adequate biomarkers of exposure, gender differences, susceptibility and exposure limits with regard to age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Manganese / adverse effects*
  • Manganese / blood
  • Manganese Poisoning / blood
  • Manganese Poisoning / diagnosis
  • Manganese Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Manganese Poisoning / physiopathology
  • Manganese Poisoning / psychology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Nervous System / growth & development
  • Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Neurogenesis / drug effects
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Occupational Diseases / blood
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Health
  • Prognosis
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / adverse effects
  • Welding*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Biomarkers
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Manganese