Overview of Neurotoxicology

Hugh.A. Tilson1

1 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Toxicology
Unit Number:  Unit 11.1
DOI:  10.1002/0471140856.tx1101s06
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Environmental exposure to chemicals such as lead, mercury, organic solvents, pesticides, as well as naturally occurring compounds have neurotoxic effects. This unit is an overview of the structure and function of the nervous system, including a discussion of critical issues in defining neurotoxic effects and neurotoxicological risk assessment.

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Table of Contents

  • Definitions and Critical Concepts
  • Neurological Principles for Neurotoxicology
  • Critical Issues in Defining Neurotoxic Effects
  • Neurotoxicology Risk Asssesment
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Literature Cited

Literature Cited
   Anger, W.K. 1990 Worksite behavioral research: Results, sensitive methods, test batteries and the transition from laboratory data to human health. Neurotoxicology 11:629‐720
   Barnes, D.G. and Dourson, M. 1988 Reference dose (RfD): Description and use in health risk assessments. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 8:471‐486
   Gaylor, D.W. and Slikker, W. Jr. 1990 Risk assessment for neurotoxic effects. Neurotoxicology 11:211‐218
   Glowa, J.R. and MacPhail, R.C. 1995 Quantitative approaches to risk assessment in neurotoxicology. Neurotoxicology: Approaches and Methods (L. Chang and W. Slikker, eds.) pp. 77‐787 Academic Press New York.
   Hammerschlag, R. and Brady, S. 1989. Axonal transport and the neuronal cytoskeleton. In Basic Neurochemistry (G.J. Siegal, B.W. Agranoff, R.W. Albers, and P.B. Molinoff, eds.) pp. 457‐478. Raven Press New York.
   Kimmel, C.A. 1990. Quantitative approaches to human risk assessment for noncancer health effects. Neurotoxicology 11:189‐198.
   National Research Council (NRC). 1983. Risk Assessment in the Federal Government. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
   National Research Council (NRC). 1992 Environmental Neurotoxicology. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
   O'Donoghue, J.P. 1989. Screening for neurotoxicity using a neurologically based examination and neuropathology. J. Am. Coll. Toxicol. 8:97‐115
   Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). 1990. Neurotoxicity: Identifying and controlling poisons of the nervous system (U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, OTA‐BA‐436). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
   Tilson, H.A. 1990. Neurotoxicology in the 1990s. Neurotoxicol. Teratol. 12:293‐300.
   Tilson, H.A. and Mitchell, C.L. 1983. Neurotoxicants and adaptive responses of the nervous system.Fed. Proc., 42:3189‐3190
Key References
   Chang, L. and Slikker, W. 1995. Neurotoxicology: Approaches and Methods. Academic Press, New York.
  Contains a broad overview of various methods in neurotoxicology research and risk assessment.
   National Research Council (NRC), 1992 See
  A general overview of the area of neurotoxicology and risk assessment.
   Tilson, H.A. and Mitchell, C.L. 1991. Neurotoxicology. Raven Press, New York.
  Describes a range of methods in experimental neurotoxicology.
   Tilson, H.A., MacPhail, R.C., and Crofton, K.M. 1995. Defining neurotoxicity in a decision‐making context. Neurotoxicology 16:363‐376
  Describes weight‐of‐evidence approach to assess chemical effects on structure and function of the nervous system.
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