alexa Effects of exogenous agents on brain development: stress, abuse and therapeutic compounds.


Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health

Author(s): Archer T, Archer T

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Abstract The range of exogenous agents likely to affect, generally detrimentally, the normal development of the brain and central nervous system defies estimation although the amount of accumulated evidence is enormous. The present review is limited to certain types of chemotherapeutic and "use-and-abuse" compounds and environmental agents, exemplified by anesthetic, antiepileptic, sleep-inducing and anxiolytic compounds, nicotine and alcohol, and stress as well as agents of infection; each of these agents have been investigated quite extensively and have been shown to contribute to the etiopathogenesis of serious neuropsychiatric disorders. To greater or lesser extent, all of the exogenous agents discussed in the present treatise have been investigated for their influence upon neurodevelopmental processes during the period of the brain growth spurt and during other phases uptill adulthood, thereby maintaining the notion of critical phases for the outcome of treatment whether prenatal, postnatal, or adolescent. Several of these agents have contributed to the developmental disruptions underlying structural and functional brain abnormalities that are observed in the symptom and biomarker profiles of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders and the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In each case, the effects of the exogenous agents upon the status of the affected brain, within defined parameters and conditions, is generally permanent and irreversible. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This article was published in CNS Neurosci Ther and referenced in Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health

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