Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects 5%–8% of children in the U.S. (10% of males and 4% of females). The contributions of multiple metal exposures to the childhood behavioral deficits are unclear, although particular metals have been implicated through their neurotoxicity. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the body burden of Mn is positively correlated with ADHD symptoms. We also investigated the putative roles of Ca, Fe, Pb, and Hg. We collected shed molars from 266 children (138 boys and 128 girls) who lost a tooth between 11 and 13 years of age. The molars were analyzed for metals using ICP-OES. The third grade teacher of each child completed the Teacher’s Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale (DBD) to produce a score for “Total Disruptive Behavior” and subscale scores for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity, Inattention, and Oppositional/Defiant. The mean Mn, Fe, Pb and Ca concentrations found in teeth was 6.1 ± 5.7 µg/g, 22.7 ± 24.1 µg/g, 0.9 ± 1.4 µg/g, and 6.0 × 105
± 1.6 × 105
µg/g, respectively. Hg was not detected. No significant association was found between Mn and behavioral deficits. Ca was significantly negatively associated, and Pb showed a significant positive association with Hyperactivity/Impulsivity, Inattention, and Oppositional/Defiant Disorders. These findings call into question the putative independent association of manganese exposure and behavioral deficits in children, when the balance of other metallic burden, particularly Ca and Pb burdens play significant roles.
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