Japan Inner Mongolia Arsenic Pollution (JIAMP) Study Group. Mental health burden amongst inhabitants of an arsenic-affected area in Inner Mongolia, China

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Science, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1, Iseigaoka, Yahatanishiku, Kitakyush 807-8555, Japan.
Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.56). 12/2004; 59(9):1969-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.02.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inner Mongolia, China, is an area with high levels of arsenic. The adverse health effects resulting from chronic arsenic exposure include skin keratosis, vascular diseases and cancers. However, the effects of arsenic exposure on mental health have not received much attention. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of arsenic poisoning on the mental health of the inhabitants of an arsenic-affected area. We performed a cross-sectional study at two villages in Hetao Plain, Inner Mongolia. The populations of both villages were similar in age, sex, lifestyle, socioeconomic conditions, and geographic location. One hundred and thirty four (93.7%) of the 143 inhabitants in the arsenic-affected village and 36 (76.6%) of the 47 inhabitants in the arsenic-free village participated in the study. Subjects with a 30-item version of General Health Questionnaire score of 9 or more were defined as having symptoms of distress. The multiple logistic analyses showed that the mental health of the subjects in the arsenic-affected village was worse than in those in the arsenic-free village (OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.1-6.0). The effect of arsenic on mental health in arsenic-affected areas deserves further investigation. The mental health burden in arsenic-affected areas should be considered in the wider context of public and community health.

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    • "Medium Children (6-7 y.o.) ↓capacity in vocabulary Roy et al. 2011 [15] Low and High Children (5-15 y.o.) ↓capacity in vocabulary, language Von Ehrenstein et al. 2007 [16] Low Adults ↓capacity in executive function, mental acuity, verbal skills O'Bryant et al. 2011 [43@BULLET@BULLET] Visual perception Medium Children (6-7 y.o.) ↓capacity in visual search Rosado et al. 2007 [14] Low and High Children (5-15 y.o.) ↓capacity in picture completion, object assembly Von Ehrenstein et al. 2007 [16] Mental health Medium Children ↑risk for ADHD Roy et al. 2011 [15] Low Adults ↑incidence of depression Zierold et al. 2004 [53] Medium Adults ↑symptoms of anxiety Dang et al. 2008 [50], Dang et al. 2009 Low → High Adults ↓quality of life and mental health Syed et al. 2012 [47] High Adults ↑symptoms of altered mental health Fujino et al. 2004 [51] Low → High Adults ↑insomnia ↓general health Guo et al. 2007 [49] Low → High Adults ↑risk of psychiatric disorder, depression, anxiety Sen et al. 2012 [52] Exposure Low: less than 50 μg/L (ppb) urinary arsenic or water arsenic Medium: between 50 μg/L (ppb) and 100 μg/L (ppb) urinary or water arsenic High: more than 100 μg/L (ppb) urinary arsenic or water arsenic with other factors that could affect the outcomes of these studies (Table 2). These include exposures to a mixture of metals, low socioeconomic status, and poor nutrition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic toxicity is a worldwide health concern as several millions of people are exposed to this toxicant via drinking water, and exposure affects almost every organ system in the body including the brain. Recent studies have shown that even low concentrations of arsenic impair neurological function, particularly in children. This review will focus on the current epidemiological evidence of arsenic neurotoxicity in children and adults, with emphasis on cognitive dysfunction, including learning and memory deficits and mood disorders. We provide a cohesive synthesis of the animal studies that have focused on neural mechanisms of dysfunction after arsenic exposure including altered epigenetics; hippocampal function; glucocorticoid and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) pathway signaling; glutamatergic, cholinergic and monoaminergic signaling; adult neurogenesis; and increased Alzheimer’s-associated pathologies. Finally, we briefly discuss new studies focusing on therapeutic strategies to combat arsenic toxicity including the use of selenium and zinc.
    06/2014; 1(2). DOI:10.1007/s40572-014-0012-1
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    • "Epidemiological studies also have suggested a correlation between arsenic exposure and potential neurotoxicity (Hall, 2002). For example, higher concentrations of AS 2 O 3 were detected in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer's (Basun et al., 1991), mental health burden (Fujino et al., 2004), and Parkinson's disease (Larsen et al., 1981) patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic is an environmental toxicant found naturally in ground water. Epidemiological studies have suggested a correlation between chronic arsenic exposure and potential brain tissue damage in clinical case and animal experiments. Lipoic acid (LA) is a thiol-compound naturally occurring in plants and animals, which is thought to be a strong antioxidant and possess neuroprotective effects. The objective of this study was to determine if the AS(2)O(3)-induced glial cell toxicity could be prevented by LA. The human malignant glioma cell (U118) was selected as a research model. By using acridine orange staining and flow cytometry analysis, we found that autophagic, but not apoptotic, cell death was significantly induced by AS(2)O(3) in U118 cells, and that AS(2)O(3)-mediated autophagic cell death was nearly completely attenuated by LA. Down-regulation of p53 and Bax proteins and the up-regulation of Bcl-2 and HSP-70 proteins were observed by western blot in AS(2)O(3)-mediated autophagic cell death. Our results implied that LA completely inhibited U118 cells autophagic cell death induced by AS(2)O(3). We suggested that LA may emerge as a useful protective agent against arsenic-induced glial cell toxicity and reversing arsenic-induced damage in human brain.
    Food and Chemical Toxicology 07/2007; 45(6):1027-38. DOI:10.1016/j.fct.2006.12.014 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    • "Because the toxicity or carcinogenesis of arsenic depends on its chemical forms as well as oxidative states (Cullen and Reimer, 1989; Mandal et al., 2004), forms of this transplacental toxicant in biological samples of fetuses or pups is an essential tool to gain insight into its distribution in tissues and its species-specific toxicity to their target organs. The health risks to children, especially on intellectual impairment from environmental arsenic exposure received increasing concerns in recent years (Fujino et al., 2004; Tsuji et al., 2004, Watanabe et al., 2003). Wasserman et al., (2004) disclosed that water iAs was associated with reduced intellectual function, in a dose–response manner, such that children with water iAs levels 450 mg/L achieved significantly lower Performance and full-scale scores than did children with water iAs levels o5.5 mg/L.It is well known that the central nervous system (CNS) is more susceptible to the toxic agents, such as lead or mercury exposed in the early developmental stage. "
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    ABSTRACT: The primary goal of the present study was to confirm the arsenic species that can be transferred from the mother to the bodies of newborn pups through the placenta and the speciated arsenic distribution in the liver and brain of newborn mice after gestational maternal exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs). Mother mice were exposed to iAsIII and iAsV in drinking water during gestation. The livers and brains of the mother mice and their newborn pups were taken. Contents of iAs, monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), and trimethylarsenic (TMA) compound were detected using the HG-AAS method. Contents of iAs, MMA, and DMA in the liver of mother mice increased with the concentration of arsenite or arsenate in their drinking water. However, only DMA increased with the concentration of arsenate or arsenite in the drinking water in the brain of mother mice. On the other hand, contents of both iAs and DMA in the liver and brain of newborn mice increased with the concentration of arsenate or arsenite administered to their mother orally. Contents of arsenic species in the liver and brain of both mother mice and their newborn pups were significantly lower in the 10 ppm iAsV group than in the 10 ppm iAsIII group. Ratios of iAs or DMA levels between the brain and the liver of newborn mice were larger than 1, whereas those in mother mice were much smaller than 1. iAs taken from drinking water was distributed and metabolized mainly in the liver of mother mice. iAsIII in low levels may be taken up and metabolized easily in the liver compared to iAsV. Both iAs and DMA are transferred from the mother through the placenta and cross the immature blood-brain barrier (BBB) easily. Compared to that in the liver of newborn mice, DMA as an organic metabolite is prevalent in brain, a lipidic organ, if the BBB is not matured enough to prevent it from entering the brain.
    Environmental Research 08/2006; 101(3):349-55. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2005.11.006 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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