Occupational screening for neurotoxicity: computerized techniques.
Toxicology 1988 May; 49(2/3):417-424
Computer based neurobehavioral testing was discussed. Neurobehavioral testing as used in occupational health was considered. Neurobehavioral testing provided a means for assessing the functional integrity of the nervous system. Its uses included investigating acute neurotoxic effects of exposure in laboratory animals and field studies, quantifying central nervous system (CNS) function in epidemiologic studies, clinically evaluating symptomatic workers, detecting early reversible CNS impairment in exposed workers, and evaluating the effectiveness of health intervention programs. Computer administered neurobehavioral testing was discussed. Advantages and disadvantages of computer based neurobehavioral testing were summarized. Advantages included the ability to collect quantitative data objectively free of observer bias, to present stimuli precisely and to monitor the results simultaneously, and lack of a requirement for the presence of highly trained personnel to collect data. Disadvantages included having to rely almost exclusively on visual presentation of stimuli and manual responding, requiring expensive equipment not suitable for field use, and missing subtle differences in behavior. Test selection, sensitivity, and validity were discussed. Applications of computer based neurobehavioral testing were described. Computer based systems have been used primarily in epidemiological and experimental studies where group comparisons can be made. Automated testing systems at present were not well developed for purposes that focus on the individual such as clinical analysis, screening, or surveillance. The need for neurobehavioral surveillance was considered. Occupational neurobehavioral surveillance would provide cross sectional and longitudinal normative data useful for clinical screening and epidemiological studies and for identifying workers at risk.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Occupational-health; Behavioral-testing; Computers; Epidemiology; Automation; Medical-screening; Central-nervous-system
Community Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York