Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Lead Exposure

  • Bradley J. HuffordEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_251


Lead toxicity; Plumbism


Direct or indirect contact with organic or inorganic lead resulting in a harmful alteration of body structure and/or function, including illness or death.

Current Knowledge

Lead is a virtually omnipresent heavy metal that has been reported to negatively affect all organ systems. The neurological effects of lead are particularly pernicious, with architectural changes to or death of neurons in a variety of cerebral areas reported (e.g., hippocampal areas and the amygdala may be targets of organic lead; the cerebellum and hippocampus may be favored by inorganic lead). The nervous system can be affected by lead directly (through alterations in CNS development or pharmacological activity) or indirectly (by impacting other bodily organs or functions, such as the kidneys, that can then affect brain functioning). Lead exposure can be acute or chronic. Acute lead poisoning is much less common in the United States, as use of lead in plumbing, fuels,...

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References and Readings

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  5. White, L., Cory-Slechta, D., Gilbert, M., Tiffany-Castiglioni, E., Zawia, N., Virolini, M., et al. (2007). New and evolving concepts in the neurotoxicology of lead. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 225(1), 1–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeuropsychologyRehabilitation Hospital of IndianaIndianapolisUSA