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Regional Brain Manganese Accumulation and Functional Consequences in Welders

Inhalation of welding fumes has been known to cause tremor, muscle rigidity and abnormal gait similar to what is seen in Parkinson's disease. Previous studies by the Translational Brain Research Center have used measures such as brain MRIs and tests for movement and function to investigate the effect of these welding fumes on brain health in active welders. The center is currently expanding its efforts to investigate brain health in retired welders. This is an independent study sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, with no affiliation to any private entities such as law firms. In this study participants will be asked to undergo clinical tests (blood draw, motor examination, memory tests), complete lifestyle questionnaires, and undergo an MRI scan during a baseline and 18 month follow-up visit. Participants also will be mailed a welding exposure questionnaire to complete every three months between their baseline and follow-up visit.
Savannah Olimpo at or 717-531-5233
18 year(s) or older
This study is also accepting healthy volunteers
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Inclusion Criteria:
Active or retired welder (e.g., boilermaker, pipefitter, etc.)
No obvious signs of parkinsonism (e.g., tremor, impaired speech)
Fluent in written and spoken English
No metal eye fragments
Able to tolerate a brain MRI
Exclusion Criteria:
Severe memory impairment or signs of dementia
Claustrophobia or unwillingness to undergo an MRI
Significant medical and neurological deficits (e.g., brain tumor, seizures, stroke, etc.)
Significant recreational drug use or alcohol abuse
History of chronic paint and solvent exposure
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Hershey, PA