The Problem With Solvents

According to a new review article published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, both the substance abuse and occupational health literatures confirm that with extensive exposures, individuals can acquire a solvent-induced encephalopathy. Although predictable CNS deficits for each individual type of solvent exposure and amount of exposure time are not yet clear,common themes have emerged. To date, occupationally acquired chronic solvent encephalopathy (CSE) is not thought to be progressive once exposure ceases. However, evidence suggests that heavy exposures even early in life might affect cognitive function decades later.  With better personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace incident cases are on the decline. Nevertheless, it continues to be imperative for clinicians to include questions on poison/ toxin exposure, particularly solvents, in initial diagnostic examinations, especially for those patients with cognitive deficits.   If solvent induced deficits are a possibility, recent summaries of examination strategies and tools can be referenced. As additional studies are completed and the neuropathological effects of solvents on CNS structures become clearer, criteria for formal diagnosis of CSE may need to be reexamined. In addition, as both structure and functional neuroimaging techniques become more sophisticated, additional contributions from imaging may further contribute to understanding CSE.

For the abstract


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