“The aim was to investigate whether quantitative measurement methods, in other words sensitive computer-based methods, could be used to detect small changes in tremor or other motor functions resulting from exposure to low levels of neurotoxic metals,” says Gunilla Wastensson, doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Unit.
The thesis looked at former welders from the Gothenburg shipyards, who had been exposed to manganese from welding fumes. When tested for fine motor skills – in other words manual dexterity and motor speed – the welders came out worse than other shipyard workers.
“We interpret this as a residual effect of manganese exposure from the welding fumes, even though they’d stopped welding 18 years ago on average,” says Wastensson.
A second study looked into whether quantitative measurement methods can be used to follow up the treatment of certain neurological disorders, such as essential tremor, which is a common neurological complaint where individuals are affected by involuntary shaking of the hands.
“Some essential tremor patients have such shaky hands that they find it hard to manage day-to-day activities,” says Wastensson. “Such cases can be treated with a neurosurgical intervention known as deep brain stimulation.”
For optimum effect, the stimulator must be programmed, which takes time and requires specially trained staff. Essential tremor patients treated with deep brain stimulation were both examined by an experienced neurologist who estimated the degree of tremor on a scale of 0 to 4, and assessed using quantitative measurement methods. The effect of the stimulation was very prominent, and the quantitative measurement methods were slightly more sensitive at detecting changes, particularly where the tremor was less pronounced.
“The results show that quantitative measurement methods are more sensitive than clinical assessments, and that they can be used to detect small changes in tremor or other motor functions caused by neurotoxic metals,” says Wastensson.
She also believes that quantitative measurement methods could be used to complement clinical assessments when determining the impact of treatments for various neurological disorders.METAL POISONING
in connection with welding for example, can cause a clinical picture that resembles Parkinson’s disease, “manganism”. Improvements in working conditions have resulted in lower quantities of these substances in the workplace.For more information, please contact:
Title of thesis: Quantitative methods for evaluation of tremor and neuromotor function: application in workers exposed to neurotoxic metals and patients with essential tremor.Download the thesis from: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23133
Helena Aaberg | idw
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences