As senior author of the study, Theodore Slotkin, Ph.D., and a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke pointed out, their work highlights the unpredictable and synergistic effects that exposure to multiple chemicals can have on the brain.
Effects on Brain Development from Terbutaline, Pesticides
Both chemicals independently caused brain injuries not seen in the control rats, including the loss of brain cells and the nerve cell projections critical to communication among neurons; and the effects persisted into adulthood. But the combined chemical treatment further aggravated the chemicals’ damaging effects on the brain, and portions of the brain central to learning and memory, including the hippocampus, suffered significant loss of brain cells and nerve cell projections in rats exposed to both chemicals while rats administered either chemical alone showed much smaller effects.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that here, once again, there is much to be learned about our interaction with the natural world. I wonder what might be a genuine, safe alternative to these types of drugs given the precarious position in which those who need them to ensure a safe pregnancy must find themselves?