It has become increasingly apparent that global manganese (Mn) pollution to air and water is a significant threat to human health. Despite this recognition, research is only beginning to comprehend the detrimental effects of exposure. Mn, while essential, is particularly harmful to the central nervous system, and overexposure is symptomatic of several neurological disorders. At-risk populations have been identified, but it is still unclear whether typical exposure levels have any long-term consequences. Those at an elevated risk have diminished intellectual function, learning and memory, and mental development. While the overall mechanism of toxicity is undetermined, Mn has been found to induce oxidative stress, exacerbate mitochondrial dysfunction, dysregulate autophagy, and promote apoptosis, ultimately enhancing neurodegeneration. Extrapolation of this in vitro and in vivo data to humans is difficult. There is a definite need to correlate epidemiological studies with causative effects. It is imperative that research efforts endure, so threats are appropriately identified and exposure properly regulated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis