Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and neurodevelopmental alterations

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The developing brain is remarkably malleable as neural circuits are formed and these circuits are strongly dependent on hormones for their development. For those reasons, the brain is very vulnerable to the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during critical periods of development. This review focuses on three ubiquitous endocrine disruptors that are known to disrupt the thyroid function and are associated with neurobehavioral deficits: polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and bisphenol A. The human and rodent data suggesting effects of those EDCs on memory, cognition, and social behavior are discussed. Their mechanisms of action go beyond relative hypothyroidism with effects on neurotransmitter release and calcium signaling.

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