Neurological and neurocognitive functions from intrauterine methylmercury exposure

Takashi Yorifuji, Yoko Kado, Midory Higa Diez, Toshihiro Kishikawa, Satoshi Sanada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In the 1950s, large-scale food poisoning caused by methylmercury was identified in Minamata, Japan. Although severe intrauterine exposure cases (ie, congenital Minamata disease patients) are well known, possible impacts of methylmercury exposure in utero among residents, which is likely at lower levels than in congenital Minamata disease patients, are rarely explored. In 2014, the authors examined neurological and neurocognitive functions among 18 exposed participants in Minamata, focusing on fine motor, visuospatial construction, and executive functions. More than half of the participants had some fine motor and coordination difficulties. In addition, several participants had lower performance for neurocognitive function tests (the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test and Keio version of the Wisconsin card sorting test). These deficits imply diffuse brain damage. This study suggests possible neurological and neurocognitive impacts of prenatal exposure to methylmercury among exposed residents of Minamata.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 15 2016

Fingerprint

Nervous System Mercury Poisoning
methylmercury
Foodborne Diseases
Executive Function
food poisoning
Japan
Sorting
sorting
brain
Brain
damage
test
exposure

Keywords

  • Environmental pollution
  • food contamination
  • methylmercury compounds
  • Minamata disease
  • neurocognitive evaluations
  • neurological examinations
  • prenatal exposure delayed effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Neurological and neurocognitive functions from intrauterine methylmercury exposure. / Yorifuji, Takashi; Kado, Yoko; Diez, Midory Higa; Kishikawa, Toshihiro; Sanada, Satoshi.

In: Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, 15.02.2016, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yorifuji, Takashi ; Kado, Yoko ; Diez, Midory Higa ; Kishikawa, Toshihiro ; Sanada, Satoshi. / Neurological and neurocognitive functions from intrauterine methylmercury exposure. In: Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health. 2016 ; pp. 1-8.
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