Neurobehavioral Plasticity: Learning, Development, and Response to Brain Insults

By Norman E. Spear; Linda P. Spear et al. | Go to book overview

23
Evaluating the Structural Integrity of the Nervous System for Risk Assessment

Karl F. Jensen U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

To those who are primarily familiar with Dr. Isaacson through his contributions to our understanding of brain and behavior, this chapter may seem out of place. To those who are familiar with his youthful curiosity, a chapter with an unusual subject such as this will not be a surprise. To those who know his sense of community, his concern about the regulation of environmental neurotoxins will appear an inevitable blending of scientific interest and civic responsibility.

When I first met Bob I was surprised to learn he was seriously interested in the neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants and was very pleased when he expressed an interest in visiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Neurotoxicology Division. The depth of his appreciation of the complex problems facing regulatory neurotoxicology is rare, and I quickly came to enjoy his habit of developing novel perspectives to shed light on seemingly intractable problems. I considered it an honor when he asked me to assist him in editing a series on environmental neurotoxins that we have called The Vulnerable Brain and Environmental Risks. This series emphasizes the critical role neuroscience is playing in revealing the impact of pollution on public health. Bob and I feel this series highlights some of the outstanding work that has been accomplished in the field of neurotoxicology and hope that it stimulates more investigators to take on the multifaceted challenge the field presents.

The objective of this chapter is more constrained and is to provide neuroscientists with some insights into how the U.S. Environmental Pro

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