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Scientists identify 214 neurotoxins that affect neural development in children and adolescents

B·Debate press release

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Scientists identify 214 neurotoxins that affect neural development in children and adolescents

Researchers have identified 214 neurotoxins that have negative consequences on brain development in children and adolescents, even from the prenatal stage. Philippe Grandjean, professor at Harvard Medical School (USA) speaks of a "silent epidemic", which means an annual expenditure of 9,300 million euros in Europe by the loss of intellectual capacity due to mercury, of which 4,500 million euros in Spain.

B·Debate, an initiative of Biocat and Obra Social "la Caixa" has met today and yesterday the best experts in epidemiology and neuroscience at CosmoCaixa to discuss the best techniques in neuroimaging when analyzing the effects of environmental factors on brain development, from the prenatal stage to adolescence.

"We want to know if these environmental effects, such as pole pollution of air, food or chemicals have an effect on brain development and behavior of children and adolescents," summarizes Jordi Sunyer, scientific leader of this B·Debate and codirector of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), an ISGlobal research centre.

The environmental elements affect the IQ of children. Although the variation may be small at the population level distribution of this cognitive capacity shifts, affecting groups of endpoints. While the number of children with learning problems may increase up to 50%, gifted children decreased by 57%.

The experts agreed on the need to include neuroimaging techniques to large population studies to understand normal patterns of neuronal development and function. "Neuroscientists from different disciplines need to identify the correlation between environmental factors and neurodevelopment," says the advantages of neuroimaging George Júlvez, scientific coordinator of this B·Debate and CREAL researcher.


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