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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 840547, 8 pages
Review Article

Pb Neurotoxicity: Neuropsychological Effects of Lead Toxicity

1Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 740 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
2Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, 106b Kastle Hall, Lexington, KY 40506, USA

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 9 October 2013; Accepted 14 October 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Vecihi Batuman

Copyright © 2014 Lisa H. Mason et al. 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.


Neurotoxicity is a term used to describe neurophysiological changes caused by exposure to toxic agents. Such exposure can result in neurocognitive symptoms and/or psychiatric disturbances. Common toxic agents include heavy metals, drugs, organophosphates, bacterial, and animal neurotoxins. Among heavy metal exposures, lead exposure is one of the most common exposures that can lead to significant neuropsychological and functional decline in humans. In this review, neurotoxic lead exposure's pathophysiology, etiology, and epidemiology are explored. In addition, commonly associated neuropsychological difficulties in intelligence, memory, executive functioning, attention, processing speed, language, visuospatial skills, motor skills, and affect/mood are explored.