Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Images Suggest Childhood Lead Exposure Linked To Faulty Brain Wiring
September 3, 2009, 9:58 am
Filed under: News, Spotlight on...Lead

Sep 02, 2009

Brubaker, CJ, VJ Schmithorst, EN Haynes, KN Dietrich, JC Egelhoff, DM Lindquist, BP Lanphear and KM Cecil. 2009. Altered myelination and axonal integrity in adults with childhood lead exposure: a diffusion tensor imaging study. NeuroToxicology. doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2009.07.007.
Synopsis by Paul Eubig, DVM

Childhood lead exposure can result in abnormalities in the wiring of the brain that persist into adulthood.

Exposure to low to moderate levels of lead before birth and as a child can permanently change the brain’s structure in a way that may alter if and how it transmits messages, a new study finds. The conclusions are based upon comparisons of  images of the brain’s nerves and their protective coverings – collectively called white matter.

More differences in the nerve cells and the thickness of their coverings were found in adults who had higher lead exposure during development and as children. Some areas of the brain developed less robust nerve pathways and other parts had thicker or thinner coverings.

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