Vol. 6, No. 4, 2000 Page 1&3

Monkeys exposed to lead, PCBs show
behavior resembling ADHD

Monkeys exposed to lead or PCBs show patterns of behavioral impairment resembling the deficits of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to research by Deborah Rice and colleagues.

In particular, the researchers say, lead- or PCB-exposed monkeys show an inability to learn from the consequences of previous behavior, and an inability to organize their behavior according to a time sequence. Among Rice et al.'s studies:

The researchers conclude that while genetic and other factors play roles in ADHD, "it seems reasonable to postulate that environmental neurotoxicants contribute to the prevalence of ADHD currently being identified in children."


"Parallels between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and behavioral deficits produced by neurotoxic exposure in monkeys," Deborah C. Rice, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 108, Supplement 3, June 2000, pp. 405-408. Address: Deborah C. Rice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, MC8623 D, Washington, D.C. 20460.

Related Article: [2002, Vol. 8]

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