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Neurotoxicology. 2015 Dec;51:80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2015.09.004. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

Prenatal exposure to the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos and childhood tremor.

Author information

1
Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: var1@columbia.edu.
2
Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
3
Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
4
Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
5
Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), widely used for agricultural purposes, has been linked to neurodevelopmental deficits. Possible motor effects at low to moderate levels of exposure have not been evaluated.

METHODS:

Prenatal exposure to CPF was measured in umbilical cord blood in a sample of 263 inner-city minority children, who were followed prospectively. At approximately 11 years of age (mean age 10.9 ± 0.85 years, range=9.0-13.9), during a neuropsychological assessment, children were asked to draw Archimedes spirals. These were rated by a senior neurologist specializing in movement disorders who was blind to CPF exposure level.

RESULTS:

Compared to all other children, those with prenatal CPF exposure in the upper quartile range (n=43) were more likely to exhibit mild or mild to moderate tremor (≥ 1) in either arm (p=0.03), both arms (p=0.02), the dominant arm (p=0.01), and the non-dominant arm (p=0.055). Logistic regression analyses showed significant CPF effects on tremor in both arms, either arm, the dominant arm (p-values <0.05), and the non-dominant arm (p=0.06), after adjustment for sex, age at testing, ethnicity, and medication.

CONCLUSION:

Prenatal CPF exposure is associated with tremor in middle childhood, which may be a sign of the insecticide's effects on nervous system function.

KEYWORDS:

Brain; Children; Chlorpyrifos; Neurodevelopment; Tremor

PMID:
26385760
PMCID:
PMC4809635
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuro.2015.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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