Chronic Brian damage

Another in the occasional series of PubMed typos. This time from the Scandanavian Journal of Social Medicine.

The last line accidentally describes the effect of exposure to solvents on one unfortunate individual:

A cohort study of disability pension and death among painters with special regard to disabling presenile dementia as an occupational disease.

Scand J Soc Med Suppl. 1980;16:34-43.

Mikkelsen S.

In the last decade several investigations have demonstrated an association between impaired cerebral function in employed workers and occupational exposure to organic solvents. Many case-histories and two case-referent studies indicate, that such an impairment might develop into disabling irreversible neuropsychiatric disease. The main purpose of this study was to further investigate the risk of chronic brain damage in solvent exposed workers. A cohort of 2601 male painters and 1790 male bricklayers from the Copenhagen area was identified retrospectively and followed Jan. 1,71-Dec. 31,75. For this period the incidence of disability pensioning and mortality was examined for the two occupational groups and for a “‘normal” population of Copenhagen men. Using bricklayers and Copenhagen men as referents, the painters had a relative risk of approximately 3.5 of being awarded a disability pension due to a state of being awarded a disability pension due to a state of cryptogenic presenile dementia. When indications of alcohol abuse, cerebral concussions or other etiologic factors were present, the relative risk was approximately 2. No excess risk was found for neuropsychiatric diseases other than presenile dementia. Other differences between the groups were found, but they were inconsistent and difficult to interpret. In the light of the findings of this and other studies, it seems likely, that chronic brian damage may result from industrial exposure to organic solvents.

Link to PubMed entry.

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