Gestational Exposure to BPA May Be Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

March 28, 2022

Review Summarizes the Developmental Neurotoxicity of BPA in Lab Animals 

A new literature review has examined the correlation between exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) in humans. NDDs refer to nervous system disorders caused by changes in brain development. These disorders include autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intellectual disability disorder, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, and impairments in vision and hearing. BPA is a ubiquitous chemical found in many plastics and epoxy resins. It has been speculated to be a risk factor for NDDs. BPA can enter the body via ingestion, dermal absorption and inhalation. This new review, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, was conducted by two California researchers who analyzed research papers which focused specifically on the consequences of BPA exposure on laboratory animals with an emphasis on neuronal phenotypes, molecular mechanisms, and behavioral outcomes. The aim of this research was to summarize studies that have described neurodevelopmental consequences of early (prenatal or perinatal) BPA exposure in animal models in order to show the mechanisms that may also negatively affect human brain development.  Due to concerns surrounding potential endocrine disrupting capabilities, the FDA banned BPA use in all infant products in 2012. However, pregnant women are still exposed to BPA, as it remains pervasive in our environment. After assessing recent animal BPA studies, the researchers concluded that the following neurodevelopmental impacts are either associated or negatively affected by BPA exposure: neuronal stem cell proliferation and differentiation, synapse formation, synaptic plasticity, and behavior. The behavioral changes caused by BPA in animal models were very similar to those observed in humans after BPA exposure. These behaviors included hyperactivity, learning deficits, and anxiety. Ultimately, the authors concluded that their review demonstrates that developmental exposure to BPA is harmful in laboratory animals and should be regarded as a risk factor for NDDs in humans.  


Original Review 

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