*Freshman Seminar 25p. Neurotoxicology: Biological Effects of Environmental Poisons
This seminar will explore a wide range of environmental and man-made neurotoxic substances and their effects on human and animal populations. Particular attention will be given to pediatric exposure to neurotoxic agents and associated neurodevelopmental disabilities, as well as neurobehavioral and immunological changes. The seminar will examine the impact on children of lead (Pb) exposure from Pb glazing activities, household paints, and automobile petroleum emissions in the environment. Mercury poisoning through contaminated foods, cosmetics, vaccine preservatives, inorganic mercury in teething powders, elemental mercury from amalgamation, and magico-religious rituals will define another area of study. The basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of a number of other neurotoxins, including arsenic, tetrodotoxin, saxitoxin, botulinum, curare, cocaine, and “nerve gas” will be reviewed. What dangers do these toxins pose? What can or should be done to prevent exposure?
Note: Open to Freshmen only. Both science and non-science concentrators welcome. Some background in high school biological and physical sciences is useful and preferred.