CSF is an essential part of the central nervous system (CNS), especially for CNS development.
Specific chemical biomarkers (measurable indicators of biological state), like pesticides, found in CSF are useful for diagnosing and evaluating numerous neurological diseases.
The nervous system is an integral part of the human body and includes the brain, spinal cord, a vast network of nerves and neurons, all of which are responsible for many of our bodily functions — from sensed to movement.
However, mounting evidence over the past years shows that chronic exposure to sublethal (low) levels of pesticides can cause neurotoxic effects or exacerbate preexisting chemical damage to the nervous system.
The impacts of pesticides on the nervous system, including the brain, are hazardous, especially for chronically exposed individuals (e.g., farmworkers) or during critical windows of vulnerability and development (e.g., childhood, pregnancy).
Researchers identify the role agricultural chemicals play in CNS impacts causing neurological diseases, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, dementia-like diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other effects on cognitive function.
Over 300 environmental contaminants and their byproducts, including pesticides, are chemicals commonly present in human blood and urine samples and can increase neurotoxicity risk when crossing the brain barrier.
Therefore, studies like this highlight the importance of understanding how chemical accumulation in the body can impact long-term health and disease prognosis.
The study explores whether the presence of neonics and their metabolites in CSF is an indicator of adverse CNS effects.
From April 2019 to January 2021, researchers gathered 314 CSF samples from patients aged one month to 89 years in the First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University, Shantou, China using a clinical lumbar puncture.