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Lead Poisoning Can Trigger Schizophrenia

An article called “The killing mines” by Matteo Fagotto made me think. He reports that the gold miners in northern Nigeria are caught in a cruel paradox, to provide food for their family they have to keep on mining the very activity that is killing their children. In March 2010 an epidemic of Lead poisoning swept through Zamfara which took away 400 innocent little lives with it. This is due to gold mining and processing. If you want to know more about it just click the you tube video below.

When lead continues to build up in the body over a long period of time, say months or years it can lead to lead poisoning. Lead even in smaller amounts can cause serious harm to our body. Scientists have found that lead acts to trigger schizophrenia. When mice engineered with human gene for schizophrenia were exposed to lead during their early life, they exhibited behaviors and changes in brain structure similar to those of schizophrenia.

Earlier research studies pinpointed a connection between prenatal lead exposure in humans and increased chances of schizophrenia in later life. But Tomas R.Guitarte the senior author of this research study says lead directly inhibits a receptor which is known as N-methyl-D–aspartate receptor which is very important for brain development, learning and memory. Now for heaven’s sake don’t ask me what it is. My job as a blogger is to raise social awareness about various health issues. Your doctor would be the best person to answer this.

Scientists believe that lead is only a part of the whole subject that inhibits the development of brain, learning and memory. There could be other environmental toxins such as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which may cause harm to our development. The best way out to be healthy from all these problems is to go and be green.

Take care,

Photo by Ranjith Krishnan

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