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Welders may be at increased risk for brain damage
Date:4/7/2011

es that were not as extensive as those found in the early Parkinson's disease patients.

Although the same area of the brain was affected as in Parkinson's disease, the pattern of effects within this area was reversed. Parkinson's disease normally has the greatest impact on the rear of a structure known as the putamen. In the welders, the largest drop in the marker for dopamine occurred in a structure behind the putamen known as the caudate.

"While these changes in the brain may be an early marker of neuron death related to welding exposure, the damage appeared to be different from those of people with full-fledged Parkinson's disease," Racette says. "MRI scans also revealed brain changes in welders that were consistent with manganese deposits in the brain."

Racette and his colleagues plan a larger follow-up study to clarify the potential links between welding and brain damage.


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Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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