How Toxins Alter Brain Development
Before I tell you about the chemical cocktail they found in my body, I want to explain how everyday toxins interfere with normal brain development. The most critical part of development takes place in the first trimester of pregnancy -- when the cell architecture and connections between neurons are established. It is a complex process, directed by genes and chemicals called neuro-endocrines. Thyroid hormones, which are produced in precise amounts and at certain times, according to an individual’s genetic code, play a critical role in the process. It is for these reasons that some individuals with ADD/ADHD have a family or genetic history of the disorder. Many of those without a family history, though, show the same brain dysfunction due to toxins that disrupt the neuro-endocrine system.
According to the Endocrine Society, “numerous neurotransmitter systems, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, glutamate, and others, are sensitive to endocrine disruption. Exposure to even small doses of endocrine disruptors can wreak subtle or serious havoc with the human endocrine system, which is highly sensitive.” Says Theo Colborn, Ph.D., coauthor of Our Stolen Future, “The endocrine system is so fine-tuned that it depends on changes in hormones in concentrations of a tenth of a trillion of a gram to control the womb environment. That’s as inconspicuous as one second in 3,619 centuries.”