Friday, August 20, 2010

Behavioral approaches to toluene intoxication

Environ Res. 1993 Jul;62(1):53-62.

Behavioral approaches to toluene intoxication.

Saito K, Wada H.
Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Hokkaido University, School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Toluene is a chemical that is very useful in our lives but harmful to our health. Behavioral toxicology has the merit of providing an accurate indication of functional toxicity to the CNS through the analysis of learned behavior and use of behavioral analysis techniques that give us various learning paradigms for investigating the effects of chemicals on memory, stimulus discrimination, attention, time perception, etc. Learning is a common ability among various species and it is possible to predict toxicity to human health from animals. Behavioral toxicology is assumed to play an important role in occupational and environmental health. Using typical test batteries such as shuttle, Sidman, and pole-climb avoidance, and FI, FR, DRL, and DMS tasks, the effects of toluene were investigated and the results were reviewed. One important objective of a test battery is to be able to detect already-known toxicity. Behavioral toxicology research indicated such effects of toluene toxicity as hyperactivity, ataxia, addiction, insomnia, and memory disturbances. Some excellent results which might indicate clinically unknown effects of toluene such as hearing loss, impairments of time discrimination, and improvements of STM were also demonstrated. Introduction of blood and brain toluene levels as an index of toluene exposure and more sophisticated learning tasks which reflect specific higher nervous functions of the CNS has been proposed.

PMID: 8325266 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxicant exposure and mental health--individual, social, and public health considerations.

J Forensic Sci. 2009 Mar;54(2):474-7. Epub 2009 Jan 31.
Toxicant exposure and mental health--individual, social, and public health considerations.

Genuis SJ.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, 2935-66 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Thoughts and moods are the result of biological processes; disordered thoughts and moods may be the result of disordered biological processes. As brain dysfunction can manifest with emotional symptoms or behavioral signs, the etiology of some mental health afflictions and some abnormal conduct is pathophysiological rather than pathopsychological. Various studies confirm that some chemical toxicants which modify brain physiology have the potential to affect mood, cognitive function, and to provoke socially undesirable outcomes. With pervasive concern about myriad chemical agents in the environment and resultant toxicant bioaccumulation, human exposure assessment has become a clinically relevant area of medical investigation. Adverse exposure and toxicant body burden should routinely be explored as an etiological determinant in assorted health afflictions including disordered thinking, moods, and behavior. The impact of toxicant bioaccumulation in a patient with neuropsychiatric symptoms is presented for consideration as an example of the potential benefit of recognizing and implementing exposure assessment.

PMID: 19187449 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]