Learning and memory difficulties after environmental exposure to waterways containing toxin-producing Pfiesteria or Pfiesteria-like dinoflagellates.
Background At the beginning of autumn, 1996, fish with punched-out skin lesions and erratic behaviour associated with exposure to toxins produced by Pfiesteria piscicida or Pfiesteria-like dinoflagellate species were seen in the Pocomoke River and adjacent waterways on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA.
In August, 1997, fish kills associated with Pfiesteria occurred in these same areas.
People who had had contact with affected waterways reported symptoms, including memory difficulties, which raises questions about the human-health impact of environmental exposure to Pfiesteria toxins.
Methods We assessed 24 people who had been exposed.
We collected data on exposure history and symptoms, did a complete medical and laboratory assessment (13 people), and carried out a neuropsychological screening battery.
Performance on neuropsychological measures was compared with a matched control group.
Results People with high exposure were significantly more likely than occupationally matched controls to complain of neuropsychological symptoms (including new or increased forgetfulness) ; headache ; and skin lesions or a burning sensation of skin on contact with water.
No consistent physical or laboratory abnormalities were found.
However, exposed people had significantly reduced scores on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning and Stroop Color-Word tests (indicative of difficulties with learning and higher cognitive function), and the Grooved Pegboard task. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Intoxication, Eau côtière, Impact environnement, Exploration clinique, Questionnaire, Facteur risque, Test neuropsychologique, Mémoire, Apprentissage, Homme, Maryland, Etats Unis, Amérique du Nord, Amérique, Toxicologie, Système nerveux pathologie, Pfiesteria piscicida
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Poisoning, Coastal water, Environment impact, Clinical investigation, Questionnaire, Risk factor, Neuropsychological test, Memory, Learning, Human, Maryland, United States, North America, America, Toxicology, Nervous system diseases
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0408807
Code Inist : 002B03M03. Création : 25/01/1999.