The impact of childhood lead poisoning on adult cognitive performance is an area of concern due to the well-documented adverse effects of lead exposure on childhood development. Lead is a neurotoxic chemical that can affect the developing brain, leading to cognitive and behavioral problems in children. However, the lasting effects of lead exposure into adulthood have not been thoroughly studied. A rapid review of the literature was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A search of PubMed and Scopus databases was performed to identify studies that reported on the effects of childhood lead exposure on adult cognition. The search strategy included population, lead exposure, and cognitive performance keywords. The study selection process resulted in 6 articles being included in the rapid review. The included studies utilized different study designs and assessed lead exposure from various sources. Cognitive performance was measured using neuropsychological battery that assessed IQ. The findings were based on data extraction and comparison. The results of this review suggest lead exposure has negative effects on adult cognition. There is a significant association between lead exposure in childhood and cognitive decline in adulthood. Reported as decreased baseline cognition in adulthood and a decrease in attention and memory. In conclusion, childhood lead poisoning can have lasting effects on adult cognitive performance. Understanding the cognitive consequences of childhood lead exposure can contribute to improved policies and treatment for individuals with a history of lead poisoning.
Dietrich, Alexa, "The Impact of Childhood Lead Poisoning on Adult Cognitive Performance" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 509.