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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 861-874; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030861
Article

Long-Term Low-Level Arsenic Exposure Is Associated with Poorer Neuropsychological Functioning: A Project FRONTIER Study

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Received: 10 February 2011; in revised form: 2 March 2011 / Accepted: 9 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)
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Abstract: Exposure to elements in groundwater (toxic or beneficial) is commonplace yet, outside of lead and mercury, little research has examined the impact of many commonly occurring environmental exposures on mental abilities during the aging process. Inorganic arsenic is a known neurotoxin that has both neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive consequences. The aim of this study was to examine the potential association between current and long-term arsenic exposure and detailed neuropsychological functioning in a sample of rural-dwelling adults and elders. Data were analyzed from 434 participants (133 men and 301 women) of Project FRONTIER, a community-based participatory research study of the epidemiology of health issues of rural-dwelling adults and elders. The results of the study showed that GIS-based groundwater arsenic exposure (current and long-term) was significantly related to poorer scores in language, visuospatial skills, and executive functioning. Additionally, long-term low-level exposure to arsenic was significantly correlated to poorer scores in global cognition, processing speed and immediate memory. The finding of a correlation between arsenic and the domains of executive functioning and memory is of critical importance as these are cognitive domains that reflect the earliest manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. Additional work is warranted given the population health implications associated with long-term low-level arsenic exposure.
Keywords: arsenic; chronic exposure; environmental exposure; cognition; rural health arsenic; chronic exposure; environmental exposure; cognition; rural health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Bryant, S.E.; Edwards, M.; Menon, C.V.; Gong, G.; Barber, R. Long-Term Low-Level Arsenic Exposure Is Associated with Poorer Neuropsychological Functioning: A Project FRONTIER Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 861-874.

AMA Style

O’Bryant SE, Edwards M, Menon CV, Gong G, Barber R. Long-Term Low-Level Arsenic Exposure Is Associated with Poorer Neuropsychological Functioning: A Project FRONTIER Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(3):861-874.

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Bryant, Sid E.; Edwards, Melissa; Menon, Chloe V.; Gong, Gordon; Barber, Robert. 2011. "Long-Term Low-Level Arsenic Exposure Is Associated with Poorer Neuropsychological Functioning: A Project FRONTIER Study." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 8, no. 3: 861-874.


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert