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The relationship between the endocrine and nervous systems

The endocrine system is a collection of glands which produce and secrete around 50 different hormones including oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are important in many key body functions, especially growth, metabolism, and sexual development.

The brain relies on chemical messengers sent by the endocrine system to transmit instructions around the body via the nervous system to key organs for growth and metabolism. Endocrine disrupting chemicals can interfere with these natural processes; these two systems are closely intertwined; their actions have a direct impact on each other.

The World Health Organization highlights that endocrine disrupting chemicals can have a very detrimental effect on the development of the nervous system, in particular the brain.

EDCs have been linked with abnormalities of brain and central nervous system, including Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. Thyroid function abnormalities have also been associated with increased risk of neurobehavioural disorders such as ADHD and other learning difficulties.

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