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Disturbances in brain circuitry linked to chronic exposure to solvents
Date:4/15/2008

n computed tomography (SPECT) scans to evaluate various aspects of FST-circuitry, as well as a battery of neuropsychological tests to assess attention and psychomotor speed.

The results showed that CSE patients had reduced striatal dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) binding ratios (dopamine receptor density is thought to play a role in psychomotor speed) which were predictive of impaired psychomotor speed and attention and were also linked to exposure severity. The exposed controls showed similar reductions, although to a lesser extent. Both groups also showed reduced levels of choline, which plays a role in neurotransmission, in the frontal grey matter. These findings suggest that certain parts within the FST-circuitry are compromised in CSE patients and also exposed workers who dont show any symptoms, according to the authors. A better understanding of the nature, severity and specificity of these suspected biological markers may further validate diagnostic procedures, this reinforcing medical and social recognition, and underlining the importance of prevention, they state.

The authors acknowledge that the study was small and that using higher field scanners would no doubt shed further light in assessing chemical interactions in the brain. However, they note that this is the first study in CSE patients to show pronounced disturbances in the FST-circuitry that are related to the clinical findings and to the severity of solvent exposure. They conclude: Our results can be an important incentive for further study, clarifying the nature and specificity of these disturbances, thereby improving diagnostic procedures and acknowledgement of CSE patients, as well as worldwide prevention of chronic occupational solvent exposure.


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Contact: Sean Wagner
swagner@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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