Neurotoxic Disorders

  • Bruce G. Gold
  • Jerome V. Schnell
  • Peter S. Spencer


The nervous system is commonly impacted by chemicals found in nature, elaborated by organisms, or synthesized by chemists. The peculiar architecture of neural cells, their high-energy demands, and the mandate for electrochemical communication combine to place the nervous system at high risk for chemical perturbation. This inherent vulnerability is exploited by natural agents, synthetic chemicals, medications, and recreational substances designed or used to target the nervous system as well as by a host of other substances that are occasionally encountered in the environment. The neurotoxic actions of chemicals are expressed in a wide range of neurologic phenomena, some of which are associated with purely functional changes, others with structural damage, and still others with both. Many chemicals cause effects that appear and disappear rapidly; others produce effects that evolve over days or weeks and regress over months or years. Diagnosis is heavily dependent on the history and characteristic clinical phenomenology. Specific treatment other than termination of exposure is rare. Although clinical improvement is the rule, neurotoxic disorders leave scars or disappear without a trace.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Domoic Acid Lumbar Dorsal Root Ganglion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce G. Gold
  • Jerome V. Schnell
  • Peter S. Spencer

There are no affiliations available

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