Brain development consists of a series of complex and intricately coordinated stages that need to happen at specific times and in a particular sequence at specific locations. Damage during early development is irreversible, and the consequences of derailing the time schedule of the developmental processes are therefore long-term. We get only one chance to develop a brain. Yet no textbook discusses brain development from the point of view of vulnerability to toxic damage. Optimal brain function depends on the integrity of the brain as a whole, and the vulnerability of brain development to toxic chemicals therefore endangers the cognitive functions of our children and grandchildren.
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