What are the long-term effects of mercury toxicity in survivors of Minamata disease?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: David A Olson, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Answer

Once the neurologic sequelae of Minamata disease are evident, the damage is irreversible, and severe intoxications have been fatal. However, the damage may be minimized if detected early enough. Effects of long-term exposure are only now being fully recognized. Most survivors of Minamata disease have chronic neuropathologic conditions such as the following:

  • Ataxia

  • Visual-field loss

  • Psychiatric disturbances

  • Sensory loss

  • Chronic paresthesias


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