PCBs and cognitive functioning of Mohawk adolescents

Joan Newman, Amy G. Aucompaugh, Lawrence M. Schell, Melinda Denham, Anthony P. DeCaprio, Mia V. Gallo, Julia Ravenscroft, Chin Cheng Kao, Mary Ellen Rougas Hanover, Dawn David, Agnes M. Jacobs, Alice M. Tarbell, Priscilla Worswick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This paper reports on the relationships between the cognitive functioning and PCB current body burdens of adolescents in the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne where there is concern about industrial pollution of the environment. Three cognitive tests (Woodcock Johnson-Revised, Test of Memory and Learning, and Ravens Progressive Matrices) provide 13 subtests that allow a variety of cognitive outcomes to be assessed. A summary measure of PCB level was created from the congeners detected in at least 50% of the participants. The most notable finding was the significant negative relationship between PCB levels and two separate measures of long term memory. There was also a negative relationship with a measure of comprehension and knowledge. Significant relationships were not large, but provide evidence of subtle negative effects of PCB exposure. This research was supported by NIEHS grants ES04913-10 and ES10904-05.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-445
Number of pages7
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Adolescents
  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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