Opinion: Toxicants and the Brain | The Scientist Magazine®

The recent US and European BRAIN initiative do not  identify brain development as a key area of research, nor the possible effects of environmental toxicants on brain health.
This is a shame. A wealth of research shows that metals, pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals can seriously impede brain development in children. So far, we have identified about a dozen chemicals that can harm brain development in children and result in lasting deficits and disease, and there are more than 200 additional substances, the majority commonly present in the environment, that are known to be neurotoxic in adults, but for which we have little or no evidence for the effects on brain development. Furthermore, animal models suggest that brain toxicity during early development may lead to degenerative brain disease, such as Parkinson’s and autism, later in life. We need to understand better the causation and emergence of brain diseases as a result of toxic chemicals.

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