The Manganese Health Research Program (MHRP): Status report and future research needs and directions

M. Aschner, B. Lukey, A. Tremblay

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The manganese (Mn) research health program (MHRP) symposium was a full day session at the 22nd International Neurotoxicology Conference. Mn is a critical metal in many defense and defense-related private sector applications including steel making and fabrication, improved fuel efficiency, and welding, and a vital and large component in portable power sources (batteries). At the current time, there is much debate concerning the potential adverse health effects of the use of manganese in these and other applications. Due to the significant use of manganese by the Department of Defense, its contractors and its suppliers, the Manganese Health Research Program (MHRP) seeks to use the resources of the federal government, in tandem with manganese researchers, as well as those industries that are involved with manganese, to determine the exact health effects of manganese, as well as to devise proper safeguard measures for both public and private sector workers. Humans require manganese as an essential element; however, exposure to high levels of this metal is sometimes associated with adverse health effects, most notably within the central nervous system. Exposure scenarios vary extensively in relation to geographical location, urban versus rural environment, lifestyles, diet, and occupational setting. Furthermore, exposure may be brief or chronic, it may be to different types of manganese compounds (aerosols or salts of manganese with different physical and/or chemical properties), and it may occur at different life-stages (e.g., in utero, neonatal life, puberty, adult life, or senescence). These factors along with diverse genetic composition that imposes both a background and disease occurrence likely reflect on differential sensitivity of individuals to manganese exposure. Unraveling these complexities requires a multi-pronged research approach to address multiple questions about the role of manganese as an essential metal as well as its modulation of disease processes and dysfunction. A symposium on the Health Effects of Manganese (Mn) was held on Wednesday, September 14, 1005, to discuss advances in the understanding on role of Mn both in health and disease. The symposium was sponsored by the Manganese Health Research Program (MHRP). This summary provides background on the MHRP, identifies the speakers and topics discussed at the symposium, and identifies research needs and anticipated progress in understanding Mn health- and disease-related issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-736
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Manganese
  • Manganese Research Health Program (MHRP)
  • Research needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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