Association of exposure to manganese and fine motor skills in welders – results from the WELDOX II study


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of exposure to manganese (Mn) on fine motor functions. A total of 48 welders and 30 unexposed workers as controls completed questionnaires, underwent blood examinations, and a motor test battery. The shift exposure of welders to respirable Mn was measured with personal samplers. For all subjects accumulations of Mn in the brain were assessed with T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Welders showed normal motor functions on the Movement Disorder Society-Sponsored Revision of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale part III. Furthermore welders performed excellent on a steadiness test, showing better results than controls. However, welders were slightly slower than controls in motor tests. There was no association between fine motor test results and the relaxation rates R1 in globus pallidus and substantia nigra as MRI-based biomarkers to quantify Mn deposition in the brain.

Authors: Anne Lotz, Beate Pesch, Swaantje Casjens, Martin Lehnert, Wolfgang Zschiesche, Dirk Taeger, Chien-Lin Yeh, Tobias Weiss, Tobias Schmidt-Wilcke, Clara Quetscher, Stefan Gabriel, Maria Angela Samis Zella, Dirk Woitalla, Ulrike Dydak, Christoph van Thriel, Thomas Brüning, Thomas Behrens
; Full Source: Neurotoxicology 2020 Dec 7;S0161-813X(20)30210-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2020.12.003.