Saturday February 24, 2018

Exposure to Pesticides may result in Boys reaching Sexual Maturity earlier: Research

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A farmer spraying pesticide (representational Image), Pixabay
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Beijing, April 2, 2017: Exposure to pesticides commonly used both indoors and outdoors to kill mosquitoes and other insects on crops may result in boys reaching sexual maturity earlier, researchers have found.

The class of pesticides studied, pyrethroids, accounts for more than 30 percent of global insecticide use, said lead investigator Jing Liu, Associate Professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. These chemicals are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones.

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“We recognise pyrethroids as a new environmental contributor to the observed trend toward earlier sexual maturity in boys,” said Professor Liu.

Previous research shows that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

Early puberty also can stunt growth and cause behavioural problems.

For the study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, the team examined 463 Chinese boys aged 9 to 16 years.

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They found the evidence of recent exposure to pyrethroids in human urine as a metabolite, or molecule, called 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA).

The results showed that a 10 per cent increase in 3-PBA was associated with a four per cent increase in the boys’ levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) — hormones that spur production of testosterone in males.

Having an increased urinary level of 3-PBA raised the odds of a boy being at an advanced stage of genital development by 73 to 110 per cent, Liu said.

Further, when the researchers exposed male mice to cypermethrin — a widely used pyrethroid insecticide — they observed an accelerated onset of puberty in the mice.

“Given the growing use of pyrethroid insecticides, we must prudently assess these chemicals for their risks to children’s health,” Liu said. (IANS)

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Why boys tend to show less emotions than girls?

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Boys tend to show less emotion than girls because of their callous and unemotional traits
Why boys tend to show less emotions than girls?. wikimedia commons

London, Dec 28, 2017: Boys tend to be callous and display unemotional traits because of difference in brain structure, finds a research.

Callous-unemotional traits are characterized by a lack of empathy, a disregard for others’ feelings and shallow or deficient affect, such as a lack of remorse or guilt.

These traits have been linked to deficits in development of the conscience and of empathy.

The findings showed that in typically-developing boys, the volume of the anterior insula or gray matter volume — a brain region implicated in recognising emotions in others and empathy — is larger in those with higher levels of callous-unemotional traits.

The volume explained 19 per cent of the variance in callous-unemotional traits seen only in, but not in girls with the same personality traits.

“Our findings demonstrate that callous-unemotional traits are related to differences in brain structure in typically-developing boys without a clinical diagnosis,” said lead author Nora Maria Raschle from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

In the study, using magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers were able to take a closer look at the brain development of typically-developing 189 teenagers to find out whether callous-unemotional traits are linked to differences in brain structure.

The researchers found that the relationship between callous-unemotional traits and brain structure differs between boys and girls.

Differences in reports of increased or decreased gray matter in anterior insula in community samples of boys, or boys as compared to girls, with elevated callous-unemotional-traits may reflect maturational effects (i.e. delayed maturation of this region in males), the study noted.

“In a next step, we want to find out what kind of trigger leads some of these children to develop mental health problems later in life while others never develop problems,” Raschle said. (IANS)

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