Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 12:00 PM-11:55 PM
NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES IN THE ESTARREJA (CENTRAL PORTUGAL) INHABITANTS AND THEIR POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH TRACE ELEMENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT – PRELIMINARY RESULTS
No more than 10–12% of neurologic diseases have a strict genetic etiology, and the majority has unknown origin. According to several authors, occupational exposure to Hg, Al, Mn, Cu, Pb, Fe, and Zn appears to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Therefore, these metals deserve attention and a multi-disciplinary approach, merging the field of neurosciences, psychology with those more specific for environmental geochemistry. The studied area was affected by an intense industrial pollution since the early 50's, because it hosts the second major Portuguese complex of chemical industries. This industrial activity produced a large volume of toxic waste solids, which were disposed in areas that were not prepared for this purpose. Furthermore, liquid waste effluents, with potential toxic elements, were rejected in numerous sewage outlets. During the 90's, several rehabilitation actions resulted in an important reduction of the environmental legacy. Our study presents the preliminary results of the neuropsychological assessment of participants living in this studied Portuguese area and analyse the statistical significant differences with the control participants at level of the global cognitive status and the cognitive domains such as memory, executive functions, visuospatial skills, language, orientation and attention. The neuropsychological assessments are being combined with the chemical contents of selected metals (a) on samples of soil, water and vegetable samples in target and control areas and (b) on samples of hair, nails, and urine from aforementioned areas.
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