[This article first appeared in: Dementia Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 6 January 2011].
A study of 929 French vineyard workers found that those directly exposed to pesticides over a long period performed less well in tests of cognitive ability than those who were not exposed to pesticides. When the volunteers were tested again around five years later, the cognitive performance of workers directly exposed to pesticides had declined more in certain tests than that of workers who were not exposed.
The PHYTONER study shows an association between long-term pesticide exposure and a slightly greater risk of decline in mental ability, as measured by certain tests. These results suggest that chronic exposure to pesticides has long-term cognitive effects, which could be linked to the development of dementia. There is growing evidence that pesticides can have harmful effects, contributing to cancer and neurological and reproductive problems. Further research into the association between pesticide use and mental ability is required.
Pesticides and dementia. NHS Choices, December 2nd 2010.
Baldi, I. Gruber, A. [and] Rondeau, V. [et al] (2010). Neurobehavioural effects of long-term exposure to pesticides: results from the 4-year follow up of the PHYTONER Study. Occupational Environmental Medicine, 2010. [E-pub ahead of print].
Tests suggest dementia may be linked with pesticide use. The Independent, December 2nd 2010.
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)
Possibly of related interest:
Weiss, B. (2011). Endocrine disruptors as a threat to neurological function. Journal of the Neurological Sciences. June 15th 2011; 305(1-2): 11-21. Review.
Weiss, B. (2007). Can endocrine disruptors influence neuroplasticity in the aging brain? Neurotoxicology. September 2007; 28(5): 938-50. Review.
Weiss, B. (2012). The intersection of neurotoxicology and endocrine disruption. Neurotoxicology. December 2012; 33(6): 1410-9. Review.
More information is available on endocrine disrupting chemicals.