PCBs and cognitive functioning of Mohawk adolescents

Author Name: 
Newman, J., Aucompaugh, A. G., Schell, L. M., et al.
Publication Date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2006
This is a study of the brain function and development of Mohawk youths, who have significant levels of PCBs in their blood samples. The most notable finding was the significant negative relationship between PCB levels and two separate measures of long term memory. What differentiates this study from the rest are studies in Europe on Caucasians were most of the studies and these were always performed on children and babies, in the Newman et al article we have one of the first or the first study on Native American teens and adults. Participants' blood samples were analyzed for levels of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene ( p, p′-DDE), hexa- chlorobenzene (HCB) and mirex in conjunction with PCB analyses. The participants were given three mental tests and levels of PCB were marked to try to find decline of functioning with levels of toxicants. The Woodcock Johnson-Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability, Standard and Supplemental Batteries were used, the benefits of TWJRT are Long Term Retrieval, Short Term Memory, Processing Speed, Auditory Processing, Visual Processing, Comprehension–Knowledge, and Fluid Reasoning. Results on cognitive functioning are published in several graphs. They show that PCBs significantly decreases cognitive function at advanced ages as well as children. This research is a important piece of data as its one of the few in the collection that covers cognitive functioning.