Relationship between pediatric lead poisoning and executive system functioning
Lead poisoning at sufficient dose is known to effect general cognitive functioning (Needleman, 2004). Well designed studies of children with clinical lead exposure have identified vulnerabilities in terms of attention, organization, and other features of executive function (Bellinger, 2004 & Canfield, 2004). This study examined executive functioning deficits of twenty four lead exposed children who evaluated on a general battery at ages seven to eleven years old. Serum lead levels were available from medical records and ranged from 11 ug/dL to 114 ug/dL. Archival data was reviewed which included full cognitive batteries, family and social history, behavior checklists, and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure was used to assess executive functioning. A regression model analysis equation including the chronological age of exposure, duration of exposure, and dose of exposure was the ROCF score was performed. Peak dose of exposure and first age of exposure were found to be significant determinants of executive system functioning. Duration of exposure was not found to be a significant variable.