Certain types of PCBs can affect the way a brain chemical responsible for halting brain signals sends its chemical messages from nerve to nerve, according to research conducted on frog egg cells. These results further tease apart PCBs’; complex effects on brain chemicals and better explain how these interactions can result in abnormal brain function. PCBs are known to affect behavior, memory and learning in animals and people.
PCBs are industrial chemicals historically used as insulators and coolants in electrical applications. They persist in the environment and can accumulate in fatty tissues of people and animals. Because of these properties, their use is now banned in most industrialized nations.