Interactions between excessive manganese exposures and dietary iron-deficiency in neurodegeneration

Keith M. Erikson, Tore Syversen, Judy L. Aschner, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Scopus citations


For nearly a century, manganese has been recognized as an essential nutrient for proper bone formation, lipid, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism. While manganese deficiency is characterized by symptoms ranging from stunted growth and poor bone remodeling to ataxia, it is manganese toxicity that is far more devastating from a public health standpoint. Most cases of manganese toxicity are the result of occupational exposure to high levels of the metal, and are characterized by specific neurological symptoms referred to as manganism. While manganism shares many common features with Parkinson's disease, there are distinct differences between the two disorders suggesting that manganism might indirectly affect nigrostriatal dopaminergic function. Recent studies from our laboratory show that dietary iron deficiency is a risk factor for brain manganese accumulation and that the striatum is particularly vulnerable. This review briefly discusses manganese from nutritional and toxicological aspects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Brain
  • Iron deficiency
  • Manganese
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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