Penn State College of Medicine scientists are doing research that seeks to understand the effects of the metal manganese on brain functions. This research builds on the results of an earlier, smaller scale study that looked at welders.

"Exposure to manganese is widespread in the general population from gasoline additives and the burning of fossil fuels, but also is particularly concentrated in welding fumes," said Xuemei Huang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and lead investigator. "At high levels of exposure, manganese is a well-known toxin, but at the same time it is also a mineral that at low concentrations is essential for life."

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