Community-based participatory research (CBPR) on Pesticide Exposure &Neurological Outcomes for Latinos: PACE4 (PACE4) is a CBPR project that will provide prospective data to delineate the immediate, sub-clinical neurological effects of pesticide exposure among farmworkers. This ViCTER Program application builds on the parent PACE4 project, expanding its translational and transdisciplinary nature. Building on the results of ongoing pesticide exposure research, it is translational in addressing effects of pesticide exposure on neurological (brain) physiology and postural control, and by developing procedures for meaningful communication of research results (DNA methylation and gene expression patterns) to community members. The original PACE4 team is transdisciplinary, including expertise in anthropology, cognition, family science, genetics, neurology, and statistics. This ViCTER Program application expands the transdisciplinary composition of the PACE4 team with the addition of expertise in industrial and systems engineering, biomedical engineering, and neuroimaging. Three new sets of specific aims will be addressed through this competing revision. The brain imaging specific aims (Paul Laurienti, MD, PhD, WFHS) are to (1) compare hippocampal blood flow and functional connectivity between Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers who are exposed to agricultural pesticides and Latino manual workers not exposed to agricultural pesticides;and (2) compare basal ganglia blood flow and functional connectivity between Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers exposed to agricultural pesticides and Latino manual workers not exposed to agricultural pesticides. The postural control specific aim (Maury Nussbaum, PhD, Virginia Tech) is to compare measures of postural control between Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers who are exposed to agricultural pesticides and a control group of Latino manual workers who are not exposed to these pesticides. The communication specific aim (parent grant) is to develop and test procedures to communicate meaningful information about gene epigenetic and expression patterns to (a) pesticide-exposed Latino farmworkers and non-exposed Latino manual worker study participants and (b) the larger Latino farmworker and Latino non- farmworker communities. The PACE4 ViCTER Program is innovative in examining the health outcomes of pesticide exposure along a spectrum of human function. At the most fundamental level, PACE4 will examine biochemical and cellular events through analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression (parent grant). At the next level it will investigate biological function through analysis of brai physiology (new collaborator 2). At the third level it will consider neurological and cognitive functions through analysis of cognitive/neurobehavioral tests, neuropathy scale, and olfactory function (parent grant). At the next level it will examine more functional or performance aspects of pesticide exposure, such as those related to postural control (new collaborator 1). Finally, i will address translation and application issues of communicating results (new parent grant aim).
Chronic, low-level pesticide exposure is pervasive in the United States, and it is particularly prevalent among Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Substantial research has documented the potential effects of pesticide exposure for human neurological health. Based on data collected with migrant and seasonal farmworkers, this CBPR study will determine the association of pesticide exposure with neurological health and the biological mechanisms underlying this association.
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