In a new study published online on February 25, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Endocrinology, scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Duke University, Durham, U.S. review emerging evidence on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) potentially affecting neurodevelopment. The authors point out that approximately 12% of children in the U.S. are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and others. Evidence implicates a multifactorial and complex origin of these conditions. Environmental factors, including chemical exposures, are suspected to contribute to the development of these disorders. In particular, exposure to EDCs early in life can disrupt normal patterns of development and, as a result, alter brain function and disease susceptibility later in life. The authors focus on various EDCs that have been linked to neurotoxicity in both animal and human studies, including common food contact substances phthalates and bisphenol A. The authors also discuss research challenges in assessing exposure and health effects of EDCs and identify research gaps and what needs to be done to effectively move the field forward.
Schugg, T.T. et al. (2015). “Elucidating the links between endocrine disruptors and neurodevelopment.” Endocrinology (published online February 25, 2015).