IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/2758

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Neurotoxicity of pesticides: a brief review
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1 Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
2 Dept. of Human Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Forensic Sciences, University of Parma Medical School, Parma, Italy

Academic Editor: Haseeb Ahmad Khan

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(4), 1240–1249; https://doi.org/10.2741/2758
Published: 1 January 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular biology in clinical practice)
Abstract

Pesticides are substances widely used to control unwanted pests such as insects, weeds, fungi and rodents. Most pesticides are not highly selective, and are also toxic to nontarget species, including humans. A number of pesticides can cause neurotoxicity. Insecticides, which kill insects by targeting their nervous system, have neurotoxic effect in mammals as well. This family of chemicals comprises the organophosphates, the carbamates, the pyrethroids, the organochlorines, and other compounds. Insecticides interfere with chemical neurotransmission or ion channels, and usually cause reversible neurotoxic effects, that could nevertheless be lethal. Some herbicides and fungicides have also been shown to possess neurotoxic properties. The effects of pesticides on the nervous system may be involved in their acute toxicity, as in case of most insecticides, or may contribute to chronic neurodegenerative disorders, most notably Parkinson's disease. This brief review highlights some of the main neurotoxic pesticides, their effects, and mechanisms of action.

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