Concurrent exposure to heavy metals and cognition in school-age children in Congo-Kinshasa

A complex overdue research agenda

Béatrice Koba Bora, Ana Luiza Ramos-Crawford, Alla Sikorskii, Michael Joseph Boivin, Didier Malamba Lez, Dieudonné Mumba-Ngoyi, Abdon Mukalay Wa Mukalay, Daniel Okitundu-Luwa, Daniel Tshala-Katumbay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of concurrent exposure to neurotoxic metals is a significant threat to brain function, mostly in contexts of multiple exposures as seen in the developing world. Ninety-five children (46 boys and 49 girls, 6 to 11-year old) from Congo-Kinshasa were assessed for cognition using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (2nd edition) and exposure to Cr, Cu, Zn, Co, Mn, As, Cd, Se, Hg, Fe, and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) in serum and urine collections. Concentrations of elements were all above normal ranges except for Cd, Se and Hg. General linear mixed effects models were used to predict neurocognitive outcomes with variable selection methods including backward elimination, elastic net, or subsets identified based on subject matter expertise. After adjusting for sex, age, and SES, urinary Co > 5 μg/l was associated with poor simultaneous processing (memory) (p = 0.0237). Higher excretion but normal concentration of Cd in serum was associated with better memory (p = 0.03), planning (p = 0.05), and overall performance scores (p < 0.01); thus appeared to be neuroprotective. However, higher excretion of Zn had negative influence on the overall performance scores (p = 0.02). Predictive neurotoxicology is a challenging task in contexts of multiple and concurrent exposures. Urinary Co > 5 μg/l is a risk factor for poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in such contexts. The impact of heavy metals on cognition is dependent on concentrations of and interactions between toxic and essential elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Heavy Metals
Cognition
Urine Specimen Collection
Poisons
Serum
Research
Mass Spectrometry
Reference Values
Metals
Brain

Keywords

  • Child development
  • Cobalt
  • Cognition
  • Heavy metals
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Concurrent exposure to heavy metals and cognition in school-age children in Congo-Kinshasa : A complex overdue research agenda. / Bora, Béatrice Koba; Ramos-Crawford, Ana Luiza; Sikorskii, Alla; Boivin, Michael Joseph; Lez, Didier Malamba; Mumba-Ngoyi, Dieudonné; Mukalay Wa Mukalay, Abdon; Okitundu-Luwa, Daniel; Tshala-Katumbay, Daniel.

In: Brain Research Bulletin, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bora, Béatrice Koba ; Ramos-Crawford, Ana Luiza ; Sikorskii, Alla ; Boivin, Michael Joseph ; Lez, Didier Malamba ; Mumba-Ngoyi, Dieudonné ; Mukalay Wa Mukalay, Abdon ; Okitundu-Luwa, Daniel ; Tshala-Katumbay, Daniel. / Concurrent exposure to heavy metals and cognition in school-age children in Congo-Kinshasa : A complex overdue research agenda. In: Brain Research Bulletin. 2018.
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