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Some Household Sanitary Products impact Brain Health

An investigator of the study says that after the COVID-19 pandemic, most household sanitizing agent chemicals have gotten to such a level that it is impacting brain health. According to the Journal of Nature Neuroscience, some of the common home chemicals affect the brain’s oligodendrocytes, a specialized cell type with protective insulation around nerve cells in the brain.

Paul Tesar (Ph. D.), Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman, Professorship of Innovative Therapeutics and director of the Insititute for Glial Sciences at the School of Medicine said as the principal investigator, “Loss of oligodendrocytes underlies multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases,” and “We now show that specific chemicals in consumer products can directly harm oligodendrocytes, representing a previously unrecognized risk factor for neurological disease.” he added.

The study found two chemical classes that “disrupt oligodendrocyte development through distinct mechanisms. Quaternary compounds, ubiquitous in disinfecting agents and personal care products, were potently and selectively cytotoxic to developing oligodendrocytes, whereas organophosphate flame retardants, commonly found in household items such as furniture and electronics, prematurely arrested oligodendrocyte maturation.”

He and his fellow researchers emphasize that the usage of chemicals from each class most likely leads to human toxicological vulnerabilities for oligodendrocyte development and highlights the need for deeper investigation of these chemical compounds’ impact on the human brain.

Analysis of epidemiological data showed that adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes were associated with childhood exposure to the top organophosphate flame retardant identified by its screen. The chemicals from each class impaired oligodendrocytes development postnatally in mice and prenatal cortical development in a human 3D organoid model.

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