Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research Identifies How Pesticides May Increase Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

New research shows how pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and that people with certain gene variants may be more susceptible to the disease. The research is published in the February 4, 2014, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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

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

Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>