Environmental influence on neurodevelopmental disorders: Potential association of heavy metal exposure and autism

Omamuyovwi M. Ijomone, Nzube F. Olung, Grace T. Akingbade, Comfort O.A. Okoh, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Environmental factors have been severally established to play major roles in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is associated with symptoms that reduce the quality of life of affected individuals such as social interaction deficit, cognitive impairment, intellectual disabilities, restricted and repetitive behavioural patterns. ASD pathogenesis has been associated with environmental and genetic factors that alter physiologic processes during development. Here, we review literatures highlighting the environmental impact on neurodevelopmental disorders, and mechanisms by which environmental toxins may influence neurodevelopment. Furthermore, this review discusses reports highlighting neurotoxic metals (specifically, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel and manganese) as environmental risk factors in the aetiology of ASD. This work, thus suggests that improving the environment could be vital in the management of ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126638
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Environment
  • Metals
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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