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Maturational processes in the developing brain are disrupted by exposure to environmental toxicants, setting the stage for deviant developmental trajectories. Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient that is neurotoxic at high levels of exposure, particularly affecting the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex. Both the intensity and timing of exposure matter; deciduous teeth can be used to retrospectively and objectively determine early-life windows of vulnerability. The aim of this pilot study was to examine associations between prenatal, early postnatal and childhood dentine Mn concentrations and intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) of adolescents' brains. 14 adolescents (12-18 years; 6 girls) from northern Italian regions with either current, historic or no Mn contamination, completed a 10-minute resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan in an 1.5T MRI scanner. We estimated prenatal, early postnatal and childhood Mn concentrations in deciduous teeth using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. We performed seed-based correlation analyses, focusing on six subcortical seeds (left and right caudate, putamen, pallidum) and one cortical seed (bilateral middle frontal gyrus) from Harvard-Oxford atlases. We examined linear and quadratic correlations between log-transformed Mn concentrations and seed-based iFC (Bonferroni-corrected p<0.0023), controlling for either socio-economic status, sex or age. Dentine Mn concentrations (Mn:Calcium ratio) were highest during the prenatal period (median = 0.48) and significantly declined during the early postnatal (median = 0.14) and childhood periods (median = 0.006). Postnatal Mn concentrations were associated with: 1) increased iFC between the middle frontal gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex; 2) decreased iFC between the right putamen and pre- and postcentral gyrus. Together, these findings suggest that early postnatal Mn concentrations are associated with increased iFC within cognitive control brain areas, but decreased iFC between motor areas in adolescents. Future studies should replicate these findings in larger samples, and link brain connectivity measures to cognitive and motor outcomes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Inorganic chemicals that contain manganese as an integral part of the molecule.
Acquired or inborn metabolic diseases that produce brain dysfunction or damage. These include primary (i.e., disorders intrinsic to the brain) and secondary (i.e., extracranial) metabolic conditions that adversely affect cerebral function.
Volume of circulating blood in a region of the brain. It is a functional measure of the brain perfusion status which relates changes in this to changes in CEREBROVASULAR CIRCULATION that are often seen in brain diseases.
The intrinsic moral worth ascribed to a living being. (Bioethics Thesaurus)
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