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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 70414, 13 pages
Mini-Review Article

Screening Pesticides for Neuropathogenicity

Health Effects Division (7509C), Office of Pesticide Programs, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA

Received 1 December 2005; Revised 18 May 2006; Accepted 30 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 John D. Doherty. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pesticides are routinely screened in studies that follow specific guidelines for possible neuropathogenicity in laboratory animals. These tests will detect chemicals that are by themselves strong inducers of neuropathogenesis if the tested strain is susceptible relative to the time of administration and methodology of assessment. Organophosphate induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN) is the only known human neurodegenerative disease associated with pesticides and the existing study guidelines with hens are a standard for predicting the potential for organophosphates to cause OPIDN. Although recent data have led to the suggestion that pesticides may be risk factors for Parkinsonism syndrome, there are no specific protocols to evaluate this syndrome in the existing study guidelines. Ideally additional animal models for human neurodegenerative diseases need to be developed and incorporated into the guidelines to further assure the public that limited exposure to pesticides is not a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases.