Metallic Mercury Poisoning and Neuropsychological Effects: A Case Report

COP E., Kultur S. E. C., Bakar E. E.

TURK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI, vol.25, no.1, pp.60-64, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.60-64
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal that can devastate central nervous system. We present the case of a 15 year old adolescent with mercury intoxication following 4 days of exposure to elemental mercury at home who was consulted by department of pediatrics with complaints of demonstrated emotional lability, memory impairment, disinhibition, and impulsivity. Olanzapin 2,5 mg/day was initiated. Her neuropsychological performance was evaluated by a neuropsychological test battery at initial examination. Deterioration in neuropsychological functions like interference effect and attention (Stroop Test TBAG form), verbal fluency and switching to other category (Verbal Fluency Test, /(VFT), verbal short term and long term memory and recognition (Auditory Verbal Learning Test, /(AVLT) was detected. In 9 months follow up period her complaints resolved. Initial neuropsychological deficits were also fully recovered at follow up. There was an increase in intelligence scores with increased ability to pay and sustain attention. She had better performance at Stroop Test TBAG form, VFT and AVLT which was similar to her normal peers'. In this case report, the clinical aspects of central nervous system involvement in mercury intoxication and protection from potential toxic effects of laboratory materials like mercury at schools were discussed. School administrators should be aware of and parents and students should be given necessary protective information.