Regional specific groundwater arsenic levels and neuropsychological functioning: A cross-sectional study

Melissa Edwards, Leigh Johnson, Cortney Mauer, Robert Barber, James Hall, Sid Obryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of the study was to examine the link between geographic information system (GIS)-estimated regional specific groundwater levels and neuropsychological functioning in a sample of individuals with and without cognitive impairment. Methods: This cross-sectional study design analyzed data from 1390 participants (733 Alzheimers disease, 127 Mild Cognitive Impairment, and 530 with normal cognition) enrolled in the Texas Alzheimers Research and Care Consortium. GISs analyses were used to estimate regional specific groundwater arsenic concentrations using the Environmental Systems Research Institute and arsenic concentrations from the Texas Water Development Board. Results: In the full cohort, regional specific arsenic concentrations were positively associated with language abilities (p = 0.008), but associated with poorer verbal memory, immediate (p = 0.008), and delayed (p < 0.001), as well as poorer visual memory, immediate (p = 0.02), and delayed (p < 0.001). The findings varied by diagnostic category with arsenic being related with cognition most prominently among mild cognitive impairment cases. Conclusions: Overall, estimated regional specific groundwater arsenic levels were negatively associated with neuropsychological performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-557
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Groundwater
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychology
  • arsenic


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