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Letters to the Editor
February 2000

Solvent Toxicity and Cognition Impairment

Arch Neurol. 2000;57(2):282. doi:

Mild cognitive impairment1 has been of major interest in the field of occupational medicine since the documentation of some degree of organic cognitive impairment by neuropsychological testing. This testing has been the principal objective confirmation of disabilities in painters and other persons with significant unprotected exposures to organic solvents in whom chronic encephalopathy was suspected of developing .2-5 Typically, these affected persons will arrest their cognitive decline if the unprotected solvent exposures are avoided, and they may even manifest slight improvement with rehabilitation and attention to development of coping skills.6,7 Chronic alcoholism has a similar effect on the central nervous system, although the prospects for cessation of exposure and arrest of cognitive deterioration are not as good.

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