Elevated manganese and cognitive performance in school-aged children and their mothers.

Laboratory of Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.
Environmental Research (Impact Factor: 3.24). 10/2010; 111(1):156-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2010.09.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Growing evidence suggests that excess manganese (Mn) in children is associated with neurobehavioral impairments. In Brazil, elevated hair Mn concentrations were reported in children living near a ferro-manganese alloy plant.
We investigated these children's and caregivers' cognitive function in relation to bioindicators of Mn exposure.
In this cross-sectional study, the WISC-III was administered to 83 children aged between 6 and 12 years; the Raven Progressive Matrix was administered to the primary caregivers (94% mothers), who likewise responded to a questionnaire on socio demographics and birth history. Mn in hair (MnH) and blood (MnB) and blood lead (PbB) were measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS).
Children's mean MnB and MnH were 8.2 μg/L (2.7-23.4) and 5.83 μg/g (0.1-86.68), respectively. Mean maternal MnH was 3.50 μg/g (0.10-77.45) and correlated to children's MnH (rho=0.294, p=0.010). Children's MnH was negatively related to Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Verbal IQ; β coefficients for MnH were -5.78 (95% CI -10.71 to -0.21) and -6.72 (-11.81 to -0.63), adjusted for maternal education and nutritional status. Maternal MnH was negatively associated with performance on the Raven's (β=-2.69, 95% CI -5.43 to 0.05), adjusted for education years, family income and age.
These findings confirm that high MnH in children is associated with poorer cognitive performance, especially in the verbal domain. Primary caregiver's IQ is likewise associated to Mn exposure, suggesting that, in this situation, children's cognition may be affected directly and indirectly by Mn exposure.

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