The research shows that certain pesticides that inhibit an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) are related to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The enzyme plays a role in detoxifying substances in cells, along with metabolism of alcohol.
The study also found that people with a variant of the ALDH gene were two to five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease with exposure to these pesticides than people who did not have that gene variant.
“These results show that ALDH inhibition appears to be an important mechanism through which pesticides may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease,” said study author Jeff M. Bronstein, MD, PhD, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Understanding this mechanism may reveal several potential targets for preventing the disease from occurring or reducing its progression.”
The study involved 360 people with Parkinson’s disease in three rural California counties who were compared to 816 people in the area who did not have the disease. Researchers looked at participants’ exposure to pesticides at work and at home using a geographic computer model based on information from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
The researchers developed a test to identify which pesticides inhibited ALDH. The 11 pesticides that inhibited ALDH, all used in farming, fell into four structural classes—dithiocarbamates, imidazoles, dicarboxymides and organochlorides. Exposure to an ALDH-inhibiting pesticide at both the workplace and at home was associated with increased risks of developing Parkinson’s disease, ranging from 65 percent for the pesticide benomyl to six times the risk for the pesticide dieldrin. People who were exposed to three or more of the pesticides at both work and home were 3.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as those who were not exposed.
Bronstein noted that the relationship between the gene variant and Parkinson’s only appeared when people had been exposed to the pesticides. “In other words, having this gene variant alone does not make you more likely to develop Parkinson’s,” he said. “Parkinson’s is a disease that in many cases may require both genetics and environmental factors to arise.”
Bronstein said the findings provide several possible targets for lowering Parkinson’s risk, including reducing exposure to pesticides and improving the functioning of ALDH.
The study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Veterans Administration Healthcare System, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Levine Foundation and Parkinson Alliance.
To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, please visit www.aan.com/patients.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 27,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences