Evidence of an age-related threshold effect of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on neuropsychological functioning in a Native American population

Author Name: 
Haase, R. F., McCaffrey, R. J., Santiago-Rivera, A. L., Morse, G. S. and Tarbell, A.
Publication Date: 
Monday, May 4, 2009
Private File Attachment: 
Haase and Santiago-Rivera in 2008 began a study on how PCB’s affect Native Americans neuropsychological mental capacity, if at all. Earlier studies have been done on this and the results have been mixed with some of the articles saying there is really no effect and some showing signs that PCB’s harm brain functioning and motor skills. The Haase et al research intends to show for once and for all the true affects of PCB’s on the brain through eight latent variable measurements of the brain subsumed under three domains, motor, memory and executive functioning. The partiipants were 353 Akwesasne Mohawk split between 113 male and 240 female with a mean age of 38 and BMI of 34.7. The neuropsychological tests used in this study were selected by consideration of three primary factors: (1) their known functional sensitivity to changes in the dopamine system and its pathways in humans; (2) minimal cultural bias; and (3) established validity and reliability in both clinical and research settings (Lezak et al., 2004). The 18 neuropsychological measures reported here were drawn from a larger battery of instruments administered to the adult Mohawk in this sample. The 18 measures are represented by one of three theoretically defined clusters: memory, motor, and executive functioning variable groupings. Read the article for data on each of the measures, it is quite interesting to anyone who wants to know more.