- Lead – In the news recently, was the City of Flint, Michigan whose water supply was contaminated by lead originating in old water pipes. Lead was also used in paint. Lead poisoning is most common among children who are exposed to lead based paint in older homes. Some children even eat paint chips containing lead. The neurological issues that occur from lead poisoning include wrist and foot drop, stunted brain development, diminished motor skills and strength. Blood tests can detect the levels or lead poisoning in the bloodstream.
- Mercury – Mercury can be found in foods, water and some other sources. It was used in dental fillings in the 20th century and in the manufacture of thermometers. Mercury is hazardous in its elemental form as well as in compounds. Mercury affects the basal ganglia as well as the visual areas of the occipital lobe, involving the cerebellum. Toxic exposure symptoms include breathing problems, motor slowing tremor, and short term memory loss. In addition to severe brain damage, mercury can affect the kidneys, central nervous system, the endocrine system and many internal organs. Anyone exposed to mercury, even in small quantities, should seek medical attention immediately. Levels can be detected by urinalysis.
- Manganese – Toxic exposure to manganese over a long period of time can have a severe effect on a person's body movements. Manganese can be found in foods and water. Although uncommon, brain injury from manganese can result in drowsiness, clumsiness, dizziness, tremors as well as learning difficulties. Another side effect is sleep disturbance and nightmares. Manganese poisoning usually occurs in workers exposed over a long time period.
Brain Injury From Toxic Exposure The environment today contains a copious amount of toxic substances which are known to cause neurological damage. Toxic exposure from these substances in large amounts in the short term, or small amounts in the long term, can cause damage to the brain. Some of these occur naturally and some are man-made. They are present in the form of metals, gases, and chemical compounds. There are many different metals that are known to cause brain damage. Some of these were used for decades in manufacturing before they were identified as toxic. People are still being exposed to them today without being aware.