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Metal vapors may cause Alzheimer-like dementia.

Metal Vapors May Cause Alzheimer-Like Dementia

Long-term exposure to metal vapors and solvents may result in an Alzheimer-like dementia, according to David Freed, Ph.D., of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Consortium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. This possible association surfaced in a study of 80 patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease. Memory function in these patients was evaluated with a picture recognition test. Twenty-four hours after the test, five of the patients, all men, showed substantial improvement in recall, which is not typical of Alzheimer's dementia.

After one year, none of the five men had experienced memory deterioration, and several even showed improvement. Because of this uncharacteristic course, the medical records of these five patients were scrutinized. This investigation revealed that each man had been exposed in the workplace to metal vapors or solvents. While highly preliminary, this study suggests that long-term exposure to such substances may result in memory loss suggesting Alzheimer's dementia.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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