Bisphenol A Interferes with Synaptic Remodeling

Emerging science indicates that exposure to BPA– bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastics–interferes with brain development. Used to mold plastics, it is found in food containers, in the lining of metal food cans, and the treated paper used for cash register receipts.

Authors T. Hajszan, C. Leranth
Institution Yale University School of Medicine & Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Publication Name Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Publication Date July 2010

The potential adverse effects of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic xenoestrogen, have long been debated. Although standard toxicology tests have revealed no harmful effects, recent research highlighted what was missed so far: BPA-induced alterations in the nervous system. Since 2004, our laboratory has been investigating one of the central effects of BPA, which is interference with gonadal steroid-induced synaptogenesis and the resulting loss of spine synapses. We have shown in both rats and nonhuman primates that BPA completely negates the ∼ 70-100% increase in the number of hippocampal and prefrontal spine synapses induced by both estrogens and androgens. Synaptic loss of this magnitude may have significant consequences, potentially causing cognitive decline, depression, and schizophrenia, to mention those that our laboratory has shown to be associated with synaptic loss. Finally, we discuss why children may particularly be vulnerable to BPA, which represents future direction of research in our laboratory.

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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