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Effects of prenatal exposure to neurotoxicants on the child’s brain function evaluated by cerebral imaging

Abstract : Abstract: The vulnerability of the developing brain to its environment is well known in the literature. Some cognitive and behavioral alterations observed after prenatal exposure to glycol ethers and organophosphate insecticide suggest a possible impairment of executive functions. In particular, we suspected an alteration of the inhibitory control, a predictor of academic performance or tendency to risky behaviors in adulthood. Therefore, better understanding these effects appears as a key issue of public health. We aimed at investigating the effects of prenatal exposure to glycol ethers and organophosphate insecticides on the child’s brain function evaluated by cerebral imaging. This work is based on the data of the mother-child PELAGIE cohort. The longitudinal follow-up allowed to measure with biomarkers the exposure to neurotoxicants during pregnancy. We used a Go/No-Go task and functional MRI to assess the inhibitory control and its neural mechanisms in children aged 10-12 years. Our results suggest that inhibitory control may be altered after prenatal exposure to these contaminants. However, some of our findings about glycol ethers were unexpected regarding existing literature and showed little consistency, preventing us to conclude to a significant effect on the developing brain. Then, we suggested that the frontal cortex, involved in inhibition network, may be a specific target of organophosphates.
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Anne-Claire Binter. Effects of prenatal exposure to neurotoxicants on the child’s brain function evaluated by cerebral imaging. Human health and pathology. Université Rennes 1, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019REN1B052⟩. ⟨tel-02878325⟩

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