Overview of the Role of Environmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Evidence implicates environmental factors in the pathogenesis of diverse complex neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the identity of specific environmental chemicals that confer risk for these disorders, and the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals interact with genetic susceptibilities to influence adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes remain significant gaps in our understanding of the etiology of most neurodevelopmental disorders. It is likely that many environmental chemicals contribute to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders but their influence depends on the genetic substrate of the individual. Research into the pathophysiology and genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders may inform the identification of environmental susceptibility factors that promote adverse outcomes in brain development. Conversely, understanding how low-level chemical exposures influence molecular, cellular, and behavioral outcomes relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders will provide insight regarding gene-environment interactions and possibly yield novel intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780128004074, 9780128002285
StatePublished - Feb 3 2015


  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Synaptic connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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