There is a critical need to investigate the susceptibility of children and adolescents to repeated occupational and environmental exposures because the developing brain may be uniquely sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of these agents. Partnering with our colleagues at Menoufia University in Egypt, we have proposed a longitudinal study to investigate cumulative and potentially reversible effects of pesticide exposure. The current R01 project (ES022163) builds on the work begun in the R21 project (ES017223), Assessing Vulnerability of the Adolescent Brain to Organophosphorus Pesticides.
A second aim of the project is to expand on the successful efforts begun in the R21 project to build research skills at Menoufia University. Workshops were held with the research team to expand knowledge addressing research methods and design. A pilot grant program will solicit applications from researchers at Menoufia University addressing occupational and environmental health topics.
Finally, we will work with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture to develop and evaluate appropriate measures to reduce pesticide exposure. Focus groups, conducted in March 2015, were used to present findings and to discuss methods to reduce pesticide exposure.