Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working with solvents tied to cognitive problems for less-educated people

Date:
May 28, 2012
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
Exposure to solvents at work may be associated with reduced thinking skills later in life for those who have less than a high school education, according to a new study.

Exposure to solvents at work may be associated with reduced thinking skills later in life for those who have less than a high school education, according to a study published in the May 29, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The thinking skills of people with more education were not affected, even if they had the same amount of exposure to solvents.

"People with more education may have a greater cognitive reserve that acts like a buffer allowing the brain to maintain its ability to function in spite of damage," said study author Lisa F. Berkman, PhD, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. "This may be because education helps build up a dense network of connections among brain cells."

The study involved 4,134 people who worked at the French national gas and electric company. The majority of the people worked at the company for their entire career. Their lifetime exposure to four types of solvents -- chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, benzene and non-benzene aromatic solvents -- was assessed. The participants took a test of thinking skills when they were an average of 59 years old and 91 percent were retired.

A total of 58 percent of the participants had less than a high school education. Of those, 32 percent had cognitive impairment, or problems with thinking skills, compared to 16 percent of those with more education. Among the less-educated, those who were highly exposed to chlorinated and petroleum solvents were 14 percent more likely to have cognitive problems than those with no exposure. People highly exposed to benzene were 24 percent more likely to have cognitive problems, and those highly exposed to non-benzene aromatic solvents were 36 percent more likely to have cognitive problems.

"These findings suggest that efforts to improve quality and quantity of education early in life could help protect people's cognitive abilities later in life," Berkman said, who worked alongside study author Erika Sabbath, ScD. "Investment in education could serve as a broad shield against both known and unknown exposures across the lifetime. This is especially important given that some evidence shows that federal levels of permissible exposure for some solvents may be insufficient to protect workers against the health consequences of exposure."

The study was supported by the French National Research Agency and the French Agency for Environment and Work Health Security.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. L. Sabbath, M. M. Glymour, C. Berr, A. Singh-Manoux, M. Zins, M. Goldberg, L. F. Berkman. Occupational solvent exposure and cognition: Does the association vary by level of education? Neurology, 2012; 78 (22): 1754 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182583098

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Working with solvents tied to cognitive problems for less-educated people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528175525.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2012, May 28). Working with solvents tied to cognitive problems for less-educated people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528175525.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Working with solvents tied to cognitive problems for less-educated people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528175525.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins