The name implies the role of a neurotoxin although the term 'neurotoxic' may be used more loosely to describe states that are known to cause physical brain damage but where no obvious neurotoxin has been identified.
The term neurotoxic is used to describe a substance, condition or state that damages the nervous system and/or brain, usually by killing neurons. The term is generally used to describe a condition or substance that has been shown to result in observable physical damage. The presence of neurocognitive deficits alone is not usually considered sufficient evidence of neurotoxicity, as many substances exist which may impair neurocognitive performance without resulting in the death of neurons. This may be due to the direct action of the substance, with the impairment and neurocognitive deficits being temporary, and resolving when the substance is metabolised from the body. In some cases the level or exposure-time may be critical, with some substances only becoming neurotoxic in certain doses or time periods.
Screening for Developmental Neurotoxicity Using PC12 Cells: Comparisons of Organophosphates with a Carbamate, an Organochlorine, and Divalent Nickel
Jan 01, 2007; BACKGROUND: In light of the large number of chemicals that are potential developmental neurotoxicants, there is a need to develop...