What roles do environmental agents play in brain disorders?

The vast majority of chemicals to which people are commonly exposed has never been examined for their impact on the developing brain. Environmental agents can interfere with any one of the many steps of brain development as brain cells divide, differentiate into specialized cell types, establish connections with other brain cells, and die. Environmental agents can also interfere with chemical messengers in the brain that help transmit nerve impulses.

At the CCBN, a multidisciplinary team uses diverse methods in both the laboratory and the field to address concerns about the effects of specific classes of chemicals. Their studies will provide information on the impact environmental pollutants can have on neurological health and will support efforts to reduce these exposures.