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      Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates, Paraoxonase 1, and Cognitive Development in Childhood

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          Background: Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides has been shown to negatively affect child neurobehavioral development. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of organophosphates.

          Objective: We examined the relationship between biomarkers of organophosphate exposure, PON1, and cognitive development at ages 12 and 24 months and 6–9 years.

          Methods: The Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Study enrolled a multiethnic prenatal population in New York City between 1998 and 2002 ( n = 404). Third-trimester maternal urine samples were collected and analyzed for organophosphate metabolites ( n = 360). Prenatal maternal blood was analyzed for PON1 activity and genotype. Children returned for neurodevelopment assessments ages 12 months ( n = 200), 24 months ( n = 276), and 6–9 ( n = 169) years of age.

          Results: Prenatal total dialkylphosphate metabolite level was associated with a decrement in mental development at 12 months among blacks and Hispanics. These associations appeared to be enhanced among children of mothers who carried the PON1 Q192R QR/RR genotype. In later childhood, increasing prenatal total dialkyl- and dimethylphosphate metabolites were associated with decrements in perceptual reasoning in the maternal PON1 Q192R QQ genotype, which imparts slow catalytic activity for chlorpyrifos oxon, with a monotonic trend consistent with greater decrements with increasing prenatal exposure.

          Conclusion: Our findings suggest that prenatal exposure to organophosphates is negatively associated with cognitive development, particularly perceptual reasoning, with evidence of effects beginning at 12 months and continuing through early childhood. PON1 may be an important susceptibility factor for these deleterious effects.

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          Most cited references 36

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          The outbreak of West Nile virus infection in the New York City area in 1999.

          In late August 1999, an unusual cluster of cases of meningoencephalitis associated with muscle weakness was reported to the New York City Department of Health. The initial epidemiologic and environmental investigations suggested an arboviral cause. Active surveillance was implemented to identify patients hospitalized with viral encephalitis and meningitis. Cerebrospinal fluid, serum, and tissue specimens from patients with suspected cases underwent serologic and viral testing for evidence of arboviral infection. Outbreak surveillance identified 59 patients who were hospitalized with West Nile virus infection in the New York City area during August and September of 1999. The median age of these patients was 71 years (range, 5 to 95). The overall attack rate of clinical West Nile virus infection was at least 6.5 cases per million population, and it increased sharply with age. Most of the patients (63 percent) had clinical signs of encephalitis; seven patients died (12 percent). Muscle weakness was documented in 27 percent of the patients and flaccid paralysis in 10 percent; in all of the latter, nerve conduction studies indicated an axonal polyneuropathy in 14 percent. An age of 75 years or older was an independent risk factor for death (relative risk adjusted for the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus, 8.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 59.1), as was the presence of diabetes mellitus (age-adjusted relative risk, 5.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.5 to 17.3). This outbreak of West Nile meningoencephalitis in the New York City metropolitan area represents the first time this virus has been detected in the Western Hemisphere. Given the subsequent rapid spread of the virus, physicians along the eastern seaboard of the United States should consider West Nile virus infection in the differential diagnosis of encephalitis and viral meningitis during the summer months, especially in older patients and in those with muscle weakness.
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            Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Neurodevelopment in Young Mexican-American Children

            Background Organophosphate (OP) pesticides are widely used in agriculture and homes. Animal studies suggest that even moderate doses are neurodevelopmental toxicants, but there are few studies in humans. Objectives We investigated the relationship of prenatal and child OP urinary metabolite levels with children’s neurodevelopment. Methods Participating children were from a longitudinal birth cohort of primarily Latino farm-worker families in California. We measured six nonspecific dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites in maternal and child urine as well as metabolites specific to malathion (MDA) and chlorpyrifos (TCPy) in maternal urine. We examined their association with children’s performance at 6 (n = 396), 12 (n = 395), and 24 (n = 372) months of age on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development [Mental Development (MDI) and Psychomotor Development (PDI) Indices] and mother’s report on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (n = 356). Results Generally, pregnancy DAP levels were negatively associated with MDI, but child measures were positively associated. At 24 months of age, these associations reached statistical significance [per 10-fold increase in prenatal DAPs: β = −3.5 points; 95% confidence interval (CI), −6.6 to −0.5; child DAPs: β = 2.4 points; 95% CI, 0.5 to 4.2]. Neither prenatal nor child DAPs were associated with PDI or CBCL attention problems, but both prenatal and postnatal DAPs were associated with risk of pervasive developmental disorder [per 10-fold increase in prenatal DAPs: odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, p = 0.05; child DAPs OR = 1.7, p = 0.04]. MDA and TCPy were not associated with any outcome. Conclusions We report adverse associations of prenatal DAPs with mental development and pervasive developmental problems at 24 months of age. Results should be interpreted with caution given the observed positive relationship with postnatal DAPs.
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              Chlorinated hydrocarbon levels in human serum: effects of fasting and feeding.

              Twenty healthy adult humans had serum samples drawn on four occasions within a 24-hr period: after a 12 hr overnight fast, 4-5 hr after a high fat breakfast, at midafternoon, and the next morning after another 12 hr fast. Nonfasting samples had 22% to 29% higher mean concentrations (p less than 0.05) than did fasting samples for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, 4.81 vs 3.74 ng/g serum wt), hexachlorobenzene (HCB, 0.163 vs 0.134 ng/g serum wt), and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE, 6.74 vs 5.37 ng/g serum wt) measured by electron capture gas liquid chromatography. Total serum lipids were estimated from measurements of total cholesterol, free cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids and were 20% higher in nonfasting samples than in fasting samples (7.05 g/L vs 5.86 g/L). When PCBs, HCB, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were corrected by total serum lipids, results from fasting and non-fasting samples were not statistically different. Because of the differences in these chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations observed with different sample collection regimens, meaningful comparison of analytical results requires standardizing collection procedures or correcting by total serum lipid levels.

                Author and article information

                Environ Health Perspect
                Environmental Health Perspectives
                National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
                21 April 2011
                August 2011
                : 119
                : 8
                : 1182-1188
                [1 ]Department of Preventive Medicine,
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology, and
                [3 ]Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA
                [4 ]School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
                [5 ]Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to S. Engel, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2104C McGavran-Greenberg, Box 7435, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435 USA. Telephone: (919) 966-7435. Fax: (919) 966-2089. E-mail: Stephanie.Engel@ 123456unc.edu

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Public health

                environmental exposures, mental development, pesticides, organophosphates, iq


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