Low Levels of Glyphosate Shown to Increase Seizure-Like Behavior in Animals

September 26, 2022

Researchers Concerned About Lack of Knowledge Regarding Impact of Herbicide on the Human Nervous System

A recent study by Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University has linked the use of the weed killer Roundup to convulsions in animals. Glyphosate is the herbicide component contained in Roundup, the world’s most commonly used weed killer. Nearly 80% of the world’s crops are treated with the compound. Even though this current study used significantly less glyphosate and Roundup levels than recommended by the EPA, the results still showed that soil-dwelling roundworms called C. elegans had increased seizure-like behavior when exposed to the herbicide. The research also found compelling evidence that glyphosate targets GABA-A receptors, which are essential for locomotion and are heavily involved in regulating sleep and mood in humans. Additionally, the team discovered a vital distinction between glyphosate exposure and Roundup exposure. Roundup exposure was associated with a higher percentage of C. elegans that did not recover from seizure activity. The non-recovery phenotype and prolonged convulsions of roundworms involved in this research provide an understanding of the herbicide’s physiological effects at concentrations exponentially below neurotoxic levels. This study suggests that there should be further investigations on how chronic exposure and accumulation of glyphosate and Roundup may lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Co-author and lab head, Ken Dawson-Scully, is concerned about the herbicide’s connection to other neurological disorders and advocates for additional research. He states, “As of now, there is no information for how exposure to glyphosate and Roundup may affect humans diagnosed with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. Our study indicates that there is significant disruption in locomotion and should prompt further vertebrate studies.”

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