The link between the world's most used herbicide, glyphosate, and severe depression

A group of scientists in Taiwan released a peer-reviewed study that unveiled a robust connection between exposure to the world's most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate, and severe depression, as well as cognitive decline.

The link between the world's most used herbicide, glyphosate, and severe depression

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide globally. It is a non-selective systemic biocide with broad-spectrum activity and was introduced in 1974 for the control of weeds in agricultural production fields. The widespread use of glyphosate in agriculture and forestry has contributed to the development of numerous commercial formulations containing this compound.

Herbicide formulations containing this active ingredient represent approximately 60% of the global market for non-selective herbicides. The mechanism of action of glyphosate is associated with its ability to block the shikimic acid pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of aromatic amino acids in plants, fungi, and some microorganisms.

It can persist in the environment for days or months, and its intensive and large-scale use can constitute a major environmental and health problem.

Effects of Glyphosate in Humans

A series of studies show that glyphosate and its commercial formulations can produce detrimental effects on the human nervous system. These investigations have shown that glyphosate can cross and affect the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and cause various types of short-term or long-term disturbances in the human nervous system.

Although most of studies in humans mainly describe the consequences of glyphosate poisoning after suicide attempts, it appears that occupational or chronic exposure to this pesticide (via inhalation and dermal routes) may also cause neurotoxic effects.

Exposure to glyphosate appears to affect neuronal development in the human central nervous system, altering the expression of molecules involved in the growth and maturation of neurons.




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