Critical Overview of Hexacarbons and Organophosphates,
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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At the outset it seems worthwhile to compare and contrast the two groups of agents that have been discussed today - the neurotoxic hexacarbons and the delayed neurotoxicity of organophosphates. Dr. Spencer indicated that distal axonal degeneration is by far the most common pathologic manifestation of chemical neurotoxicity in general. The groups of agents under discussion both produce types of distal axonal degeneration. These agents have received extensive study, not only because of their public health implications, but as model systems for this type of neuropathology. In the last few years a wealth of basic toxicology, biochemistry, and data describing structure-function relationships has developed around both groups of agents. Parenthetically, it is difficult to overestimate the value of this broad research effort.