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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biochemistry & Molecular Biol.

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly Lambert


Lead (Pb2+) is a developmental neurotoxicant that causes lifelong cognitive deficiencies. Previous studies have shown that lead exposure may affect the development of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex specifically, and that known impairments may be correlated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses in children. Additionally, the rat model has proved to be an effective experimental model in previous lead exposure studies. Therefore, in order to further investigate the neural and behavioral changes caused by lead poisoning, this study hypothesized that lead exposed groups (150ppm and 1000ppm) would demonstrate increased hyperactive behavior (similar to ADHD type behavior) and altered neural cell counts in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Behavioral results indicated that 1000ppm lead exposed rats showed increased hyperactive behavior (F = 10.948, p < 0.001) as measured by the elevated plus maze. However, no significant differences were found regarding total cells or cell type within the hippocampus or prefrontal cortex, suggesting that the observed increase in hyperactivity of lead exposed groups may be related to other brain areas.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 02, 2026