NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 13 (UPI) -- Scientists at Yale University say they've found bisphenol-A, a chemical found in many food-storage plastics, can lead to neurological diseases.
The researchers said small doses of BPA can lead to learning disabilities and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
"These data heighten concerns about the potential long-term consequences of human BPA exposure," said Neil MacLusky of Helen Hayes Hospital, who conducted the study alongside Csaba Leranth, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and in the Department of Neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine.
The scientists found low doses of BPA in female rats inhibited estrogen-induction of synaptic connections in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved with expression of sexually differentiated behaviors and with formation and retention of memory.
MacLusky said high concentrations of BPA have been reported in the blood of some pregnant women and BPA contamination could adversely affect human hippocampal development, with long-term effects on children's learning ability.