Lead and cognitive function in adults

A questions and answers approach to a review of the evidence for cause, treatment, and prevention

Brian S Schwartz, Walter F. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Lead has been extensively used worldwide in gasoline, consumer products, commercial applications, and industrial settings. Its use in gasoline and paint has been particularly hazardous to public health leading to widespread population exposure and substantial lifetime cumulative doses in most Americans over age 40 years. Cumulative lead dose can be estimated by measuring the current concentration of lead in tibia bone by X-ray fluorescence. A growing literature has documented that tibia lead levels are associated with decrements in cognitive function and declines in cognitive function over time. Furthermore, there are several interesting lines of biochemical and epidemiological investigation that have demonstrated potential links of lead to neurodegenerative diseases. These studies support the inference that a proportion of what has been termed 'normal' age-related cognitive decline may, in fact, be due to exposure to neurotoxicants such as lead. Well-designed studies of cumulative lead dose and Alzheimer's disease risk should be conducted to follow-up on these leads. The strong and compelling body of literature on lead and cognitive dysfunction and decline also supports a need for intervention studies to prevent lead-related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-692
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Cognition
Gasoline
Tibia
Paint
Lead
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer Disease
Public Health
Fluorescence
X-Rays
Cognitive Dysfunction
Bone and Bones
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

@article{7ec7c45cb925492680eaa1e8751523ae,
title = "Lead and cognitive function in adults: A questions and answers approach to a review of the evidence for cause, treatment, and prevention",
abstract = "Lead has been extensively used worldwide in gasoline, consumer products, commercial applications, and industrial settings. Its use in gasoline and paint has been particularly hazardous to public health leading to widespread population exposure and substantial lifetime cumulative doses in most Americans over age 40 years. Cumulative lead dose can be estimated by measuring the current concentration of lead in tibia bone by X-ray fluorescence. A growing literature has documented that tibia lead levels are associated with decrements in cognitive function and declines in cognitive function over time. Furthermore, there are several interesting lines of biochemical and epidemiological investigation that have demonstrated potential links of lead to neurodegenerative diseases. These studies support the inference that a proportion of what has been termed 'normal' age-related cognitive decline may, in fact, be due to exposure to neurotoxicants such as lead. Well-designed studies of cumulative lead dose and Alzheimer's disease risk should be conducted to follow-up on these leads. The strong and compelling body of literature on lead and cognitive dysfunction and decline also supports a need for intervention studies to prevent lead-related cognitive decline.",
author = "Schwartz, {Brian S} and Stewart, {Walter F.}",
year = "2007",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1080/09540260701797936",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "671--692",
journal = "International Review of Psychiatry",
issn = "0954-0261",
publisher = "Informa Healthcare",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lead and cognitive function in adults

T2 - A questions and answers approach to a review of the evidence for cause, treatment, and prevention

AU - Schwartz, Brian S

AU - Stewart, Walter F.

PY - 2007/12

Y1 - 2007/12

N2 - Lead has been extensively used worldwide in gasoline, consumer products, commercial applications, and industrial settings. Its use in gasoline and paint has been particularly hazardous to public health leading to widespread population exposure and substantial lifetime cumulative doses in most Americans over age 40 years. Cumulative lead dose can be estimated by measuring the current concentration of lead in tibia bone by X-ray fluorescence. A growing literature has documented that tibia lead levels are associated with decrements in cognitive function and declines in cognitive function over time. Furthermore, there are several interesting lines of biochemical and epidemiological investigation that have demonstrated potential links of lead to neurodegenerative diseases. These studies support the inference that a proportion of what has been termed 'normal' age-related cognitive decline may, in fact, be due to exposure to neurotoxicants such as lead. Well-designed studies of cumulative lead dose and Alzheimer's disease risk should be conducted to follow-up on these leads. The strong and compelling body of literature on lead and cognitive dysfunction and decline also supports a need for intervention studies to prevent lead-related cognitive decline.

AB - Lead has been extensively used worldwide in gasoline, consumer products, commercial applications, and industrial settings. Its use in gasoline and paint has been particularly hazardous to public health leading to widespread population exposure and substantial lifetime cumulative doses in most Americans over age 40 years. Cumulative lead dose can be estimated by measuring the current concentration of lead in tibia bone by X-ray fluorescence. A growing literature has documented that tibia lead levels are associated with decrements in cognitive function and declines in cognitive function over time. Furthermore, there are several interesting lines of biochemical and epidemiological investigation that have demonstrated potential links of lead to neurodegenerative diseases. These studies support the inference that a proportion of what has been termed 'normal' age-related cognitive decline may, in fact, be due to exposure to neurotoxicants such as lead. Well-designed studies of cumulative lead dose and Alzheimer's disease risk should be conducted to follow-up on these leads. The strong and compelling body of literature on lead and cognitive dysfunction and decline also supports a need for intervention studies to prevent lead-related cognitive decline.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=38749134497&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=38749134497&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/09540260701797936

DO - 10.1080/09540260701797936

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 671

EP - 692

JO - International Review of Psychiatry

JF - International Review of Psychiatry

SN - 0954-0261

IS - 6

ER -