Pesticides may be Responsible for ADHD


The Journal of the Federation of American Societies publishes a recent research by its Experimental Biology (the whole thing reads FASEB) section. Associated were Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Emory UniversityUniversity of Rochester Medical Center and Wake Forest University. Their joint observations on the ways pesticides affect mice (in-utero and through breast milk) found multiple symptoms of ADHD showing in them.

Role of Pesticides in ADHD
Role of Pesticides in ADHD

The study suggests an environmental role for ADHD. It fortifies the already evident genetic inclinations to the disorder. There are too many evidences of inherited ADHD and no distinct genes could be marked in predisposition. Data used for the analysis came from the Centers for Disease Control and NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).

Health care questionnaires of 2,123 (children and adolescents) subjects along with their urine samples were analysed with cross-references for any existing records of ADHD and prescription drug history. Higher levels (almost twice the normally permissible amount) of Pyrethroid pesticide metabolite levels in urine were found in the ADHD affected.

ADHD affects approximately 11% of children between 4 and 17 years. That’s around 6.4 million children, mostly males, who are 3-4 times more prone to be affected than girls. These individuals face difficulty paying undivided, long-term attention to anything except their objects of interest. They also find it difficult following directions and instructions. They can’t sit still. It’s the same for the mice models too.

ADHD persists through adulthood even after the pesticide exposure is discontinued and the chemicals no longer present in the systems. It even holds for less toxic varieties with profuse use, almost everywhere in a normal, urban setting, including home, gardens, lawns, golf courses, vegetables, and crops.

The most common symptoms have been problems with working memory, impulse-control problems, hyperactivity and short attention phases. Findings on human models also suggest Pyrethroid pesticides – for example, deltamethrin – to be largely responsible for ADHD symptoms.

Jason Richardson (associate professor, member; Department and Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers) admits modern science yet not ready to change a genetic susceptibility towards ADHD, but modifiable environmental factors can be controlled. Exposures to pesticides come under this and should be examined in more details. Correct usage procedures are the most effective way to curb an undue exposure.

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