Mercury levels in hair are associated with reduced neurobehavioral performance and altered brain structures in young adults

Takeuchi, H., Shiota, Y., Yaoi, K., Taki, Y., Nouchi, R., Yokoyama, R., Kotozaki, Y., Nakagawa, S., Sekiguchi, A., Iizuka, K., Hanawa, S., Araki, T., Miyauchi, C.M., Sakaki, K., Nozawa, T., Ikeda, S., Yokota, S., Magistro, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-2554-3701, Sassa, Y. and Kawashima, R., 2022. Mercury levels in hair are associated with reduced neurobehavioral performance and altered brain structures in young adults. Communications Biology, 5: 529. ISSN 2399-3642

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Abstract

The detrimental effects of high-level mercury exposure on the central nervous system as well as effects of low-level exposure during early development have been established. However, no previous studies have investigated the effects of mercury level on brain morphometry using advance imaging techniques in young adults. Here, utilizing hair analysis which has been advocated as a method for biological monitoring, data of regional gray matter volume (rGMV), regional white matter volume (rWMV), fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), cognitive functions, and depression among 920 healthy young adults in Japan, we showed that greater hair mercury levels were weakly but significantly associated with diminished cognitive performance, particularly on tasks requiring rapid processing (speed measures), lower depressive tendency, lower rGMV in areas of the thalamus and hippocampus, lower rWMV in widespread areas, greater FA in bilaterally distributed white matter areas overlapping with areas of significant rWMV reductions and lower MD of the widely distributed gray and white matter areas particularly in the bilateral frontal lobe and the right basal ganglia. These results suggest that even normal mercury exposure levels in Japan are weakly associated with differences of brain structures and lower neurobehavioral performance and altered mood among young adults.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Communications Biology
Creators: Takeuchi, H., Shiota, Y., Yaoi, K., Taki, Y., Nouchi, R., Yokoyama, R., Kotozaki, Y., Nakagawa, S., Sekiguchi, A., Iizuka, K., Hanawa, S., Araki, T., Miyauchi, C.M., Sakaki, K., Nozawa, T., Ikeda, S., Yokota, S., Magistro, D., Sassa, Y. and Kawashima, R.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 2022
Volume: 5
ISSN: 2399-3642
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1038/s42003-022-03464-zDOI
1551285Other
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 09 Jun 2022 15:19
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 15:19
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46431

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