Lead (Pb2+) exposure continues to occur despite efforts to reduce its environmental sources and affects millions of children in the United States alone. Finding Pb2+ in blood samples indicates that exposure has resulted in absorption with the potential for distribution to all cells in the body. Research conducted during the past 2 decades and summarized here has demonstrated that the brain is a critical target organ for detrimental Pb2+ effects, especially causing fronto-executive dysfunctions. This review summarizes the evidence supporting this last statement and, based on this evidence, argues that Pb2+ poisoning should be considered part of the neurodevelopmental disorder classifications within the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) developed by the American Psychiatric Association. Inclusion in the DSM-5 or future revisions would have impact for diagnosis acceptance and subsequent availability of resources for interventions and research.
- Developmental neuropathologies across the life span
- Frontal syndromes
- Fronto-executive functions (FEFs)
- Goaldirected behaviors
- Lead (Pb)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology