Treating Lead Encephalopathy Still a Challenge

Lead Encephalopathy is becoming more prevalent in both adults as well as children; however, treating this condition is still proving to be a challenge despite numerous studies and research, new study reveals.

Cases of brain damage or dysfunction because of lead finding its way into the body system have been on the rise in the recent past. After the discovery that lead, which is metal, can harm the body, people were discouraged from using or exposing themselves to objects that contain the metal. This was done through mass education and awareness campaign about lead and its negative effects.

EncephalopathyHowever, it still appears that many people are still exposing themselves to lead knowingly or unknowingly. This is raising concern about the future generations and how well the healthcare system is in regard to managing and eradicating the disease and its symptoms.

Estimates from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicate that 3 million plus people in the United States are exposed to lead at their workplace. It also shows that children as well are under risk of the negative effects of lead in the home and this is leading to increased cases of lead-related brain damage.

Lead encephalopathy occurs when the compounds found in lead penetrate inside the body over a long period of time and due to over exposure. The harmful/toxic compounds will become embedded to the cellular structure and body tissues thus interfering with the functions of the body. Due to its low nature, it may take years for the metal to cause any effects; in fact, many people will only discover the adversities after the condition becomes chronic.

The symptoms of encephalopathy vary from one person to another and also the extent of the damage. It is much easier to see the symptoms in children especially if it occurs in the early stages compared to mature adults. Common signs and symptoms include convulsion, hallucination, and delirium among other cerebral symptoms which can also be observed in lead encephalitis which is basically chronic lead poisoning.

A report was recently published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and it showed that a good number of children had at least 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter, a volume that is considered critical by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDCP).

One of the main causes of the toxicity was lead paint which was in high use many years ago and is still found in homes especially the old types. Dust from old structures or paint chippings also floats freely in the air and can be dispersed many miles away. Lead piping as well as lead products used in farming also contributes to Lead Encephalopathy.