Organophosphorus Pesticides and Adolescent Brain Vulnerability

The goal of this study is to examine the dose-related response of the adolescent brain to organophosphorus pesticides (OP) pesticides, to determine if repeated exposures produce a progressive deficit and to determine if this deficit is reversible.

Photo by James Olson.

Title: Assessing Vulnerability of the Adolescent Brain to Organophosphorus Pesticides

Principal Investigator: James Olson, PhD

Co-investigator: Matthew Bonner, PhD, MPH

Funding Agency: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Period: 07/01/09 - 06/30/12 and 03/04/13 - 11/30/17

Abstract: The goal of this application is to examine the dose-related response of the adolescent brain to organophosphorus pesticides (OP) pesticides, to determine if repeated exposures produce a progressive deficit and to determine if this deficit is reversible.

A second award builds on the research conducted between 2009 and 2012.

This is a large multidisciplinary, international study (Menoufia University in Egypt) that will evaluate neurobehavioral impacts of organophosphorus pesticides in adolescents, using standardized behavioral tests, biomarkers of exposure, and metabolic genotyping. The longitudinal study will investigate the relationship between sensitive and specific biomarkers of pesticide exposure, effect and susceptibility and multiple measures of neurobehavioral function in this unique cohort over a 5 year period to assess cumulative and potentially reversible effects. Our overarching hypothesis is that the inherent plasticity of the developing adolescent brain will allow recovery from selected neurobehavioral deficits associated with short- and long-term exposures to pesticides.