Summary of “Effect of Chronic Low Level Manganese Exposure on Postural Balance”

Summary of “Effect of Chronic Low Level Manganese
Exposure on Postural Balance”

A study was conducted on residents in Marietta, Ohio; home to the only ferromanganese alloy refinery is located, to determine the effect of non-occupational exposure to manganese (Mn). Manganese is a chemical element naturally found in nature and is required in small amounts for the human body. Inhaling excessive amounts of manganese can lead to symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms include; postural tremors, difficulties with speech, balance, or gait. Unlike ingestion, inhalation of manganese particles bypasses the liver allowing for a relatively greater dose to reach the central nervous system. Postural balance testing has proven to be useful in identifying subtle balance problems. Postural balance is the ability to maintain balance with minimal postural sway. All testing was done under stringent conditions to uphold the accuracy of the study and help minimize error during the testing.
The study used residents that lived within a ten mile radius of the refinery for a minimum of three consecutive years. Exclusion criteria were also in place to obtain the correct subjects and to make sure the results that were gathered during the study were accurate. Each subject underwent balance testing that included four different test conditions. These four test conditions included; standing on a platform with eyes open and eyes closed. Then a foam pad was placed on the platform then the subjects stood on the foam pad with eyes open and eyes closed. Before testing, each resident was instructed to stand in a standardized position on the center of the platform where there feet were traced to serve as a guide for consistent foot placement for each test. The test was then reversed and repeated for each subject. They measured distance traveled in each direction to get an accurate measurement of postural balance for each resident. The study was a voluntary study and with a study using...