Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 392–404 | Cite as

Manganese Exposure and Cognition Across the Lifespan: Contemporary Review and Argument for Biphasic Dose–Response Health Effects

  • Kaitlin Vollet
  • Erin N. HaynesEmail author
  • Kim N. Dietrich
Metals and Health (A Barchowsky, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Metals and Health


Manganese (Mn) is both an essential micronutrient and potential neurotoxicant. This dual role underlies a growing body of literature demonstrating that Mn exhibits a biphasic dose–response relationship with neurocognitive outcomes. We reviewed recent epidemiologic studies from 2007 to 2016 that investigated the relationship between Mn exposure and cognitive outcomes across the lifespan: early life, school-aged children, and adulthood. In total, 27 research articles were included in this review: 12 pediatric and 15 adult studies (10 occupational and five environmental exposures). The majority of these studies provided evidence of the negative effects of Mn exposure on cognition. The pediatric literature provides evidence that both high and low levels of Mn are negatively associated with intellectual development. Future Mn research should include examination of non-linear relationships and multiple neurotoxicants across the lifespan and particularly during critical developmental windows.


Pediatric Manganese Dose–response Literature review Occupational Cognition 



Bayley Scales of Infant Development


Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery


Children’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test


Children’s Color Trails Test


Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers


Cognitive Function Scanner


Continuous Performance Test


Environmental tobacco smoke


Intelligence quotient


Korean Auditory Verbal Learning Test


Korean Complex Figure Test


Learning Disability Evaluation Scale


Mental Development Index


Mini-Mental State Examination


Montreal Cognitive Assessment


Matrix reasoning


Neuropsychological Assessment Battery


Pallidal Index


Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test


Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrix


Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrix


The Brazilian Attention Test


Trailing Making Test


Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale


Wisconsin Card Sorting Test


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children


Compliance and Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kaitlin Vollet, Erin N. Haynes, and Kim N. Dietrich declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors in the conduct of this literature review.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of outstanding importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaitlin Vollet
    • 1
  • Erin N. Haynes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kim N. Dietrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health, College of MedicineUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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