Research Program

Research Program

The Objectives and Projects of the Manganese Health Research Program

Building on the existing base at the time, a strategy was devised to focus the proposal on core projects deemed most relevant for the advancement of novel scientific knowledge that will characterize airborne and dietary manganese exposures, its deposition and fate, and its impact on central nervous system function.

The following were the MHRP objectives:

  • define the scope of the contributions of environmental and occupational manganese exposure to health, disease and dysfunction;
  • identify and investigate factors, such as age, nutritional deficiencies, pre-existing disease, and genetics, that make individuals more susceptible to the effects of manganese;
  • develop common exposure assessment protocols and exposure reconstruction methodologies;
  • determine whether manganese plays a role in increasing the relative risk for the development of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) in welders;
  • identify biomarkers for the diagnosis of the potential adverse effects of manganese, taking account of other factors such as diet (i.e. iron deficiency);
  • understand the physiological mechanisms that govern manganese accumulation within the brain, with special emphasis on the role of olfactory transport of the metal;
  • provide new modalities for the treatment of excessive manganese exposure (i.e. iron repletion);
  • provide data to health forum regulators on which sound regulatory and risk assessment may be based;
  • provide timely research activity awareness services to health professionals and the manganese industry and its workers;
  • support innovative, multidisciplinary research, in humans and animal models, on the specific cellular, molecular, and physiologic mechanisms by which manganese mediates possible adverse health effects.


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