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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 620143, 10 pages
Review Article

Toxicant Exposure and Bioaccumulation: A Common and Potentially Reversible Cause of Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia

1Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1
2Faculty of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5

Received 25 November 2014; Revised 31 December 2014; Accepted 31 December 2014

Academic Editor: Gianfranco Spalletta

Copyright © 2015 Stephen J. Genuis and Kasie L. Kelln. 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.


Juxtaposed alongside the ongoing rise in the incidence and prevalence of dementia, is the surge of recent research confirming widespread exposure and bioaccumulation of chemical toxicants. Evidence from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control reveals that most people have accrued varying degrees of assorted toxic pollutants including heavy metals, flame retardants, and pesticide residues within their bodies. It has been well established that many of these toxicants have neurodegenerative as well as neurodevelopmental impact as a result of various pathophysiologic mechanisms including neuronal mitochondrial toxicity and disruption of neurotransmitter regulation. Elimination of stockpiled toxicants from the body may diminish adverse toxicant impact on human biology and allow restoration of normal physiological function. Incorporating a review of medical literature on toxicant exposure and dementia with a case history of a lead-exposed individual diagnosed with dementia, this paper will discuss a much overlooked and potentially widespread cause of declining brain function and dementia.