Navigation Links
Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- People with less than a high school education who work with solvents may have problems with their thinking skills later in life, according to a study of people in France.

In the study, researchers from Harvard University noted that people with more education did not experience the same types of issues with their thinking, or so-called "cognitive," skills, even if they had the same amount of exposure to these chemicals.

"People with more education may have a greater cognitive reserve that acts like a buffer, allowing the brain to maintain its ability to function in spite of damage," study author Lisa Berkman, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., said in news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This may be because education helps build up a dense network of connections among brain cells."

In conducting the study, the investigators followed more than 4,100 people who worked at the French national gas and electric company. While working at the company, the participants were exposed to four types of solvents: chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, benzene and non-benzene aromatic solvents.

The researchers assessed the workers' lifetime exposure to these solvents and tested their thinking skills when they were an average of 59 years old. By this time, 91 percent of the study participants were retired.

Most of those studied worked at the company for their entire career and 58 percent had less than a high school education. Of those without a high school diploma, the study revealed 32 percent had problems with their thinking skills. In contrast, only 16 percent of those with more education had similar thinking problems, the findings showed.

The study, published in the May 29 issue of Neurology, also found that high levels of exposure to chlorinated and petroleum solvents was associated with 14 percent greater risk for thinking problems among the less-educated workers, compared to their peers with no exposure.

Moreover, the less-educated workers with a high level of exposure to benzene were 24 percent more likely to have problems with their thinking skills, and those with significant exposure to non-benzene aromatic solvents were 36 percent more likely to have such problems.

"These findings suggest that efforts to improve quality and quantity of education early in life could help protect people's cognitive abilities later in life," Berkman said. "Investment in education could serve as a broad shield against both known and unknown exposures across the lifetime. This is especially important given that some evidence shows that federal levels of permissible exposure for some solvents may be insufficient to protect workers against the health consequences of exposure."

While the study uncovered an association between education level, solvent exposure and thinking skills, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. Department of Labor has more about the health effects of exposure to solvents.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, May 28, 2012

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Physical Education Is Good for Kids Grades, Study Finds
2. Education Is Key to Health: Report
3. National initiative launched to change the way biology departments approach undergraduate education
4. A Little More Education, a Little Longer Life?
5. Better ethics education needed in community-based research
6. Study finds that patient education videos viewed before an operation may benefit patients
7. For youth sexting: Public supports education, not criminal charges
8. Psychiatry program garners national education award
9. Meeting to outline effective education about aging as Americas senior population grows
10. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education honors new officers, fellow, awardees
11. Impoverished schools, parent education key factors in student weight
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted ... in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its ... units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Project HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a ... Proceeds from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract Development ... expansion of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing facility ... increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Sclerosis Complex (TSC), as well as raising public awareness of the disorder while ... it—presented a third donation of $35,000 to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bunion Bootie , ... early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November 25th, Bunion ... ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic discounts applied ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 applies ... preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician ... The chapter also covers all entities which store, ... hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, ... --> --> What is the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Mindray Medical ... MR ), a leading developer, ... worldwide, today announced that it will ... of shareholders at the Company,s Hong Kong office ... Prince Edward West Road, Mongkok KL, Hong ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report to their ... for 37.21% of the total market share in 2014. ... region is projected to growth at the highest CAGR ... primarily to the fast growing water, industrial gas treatment, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: