Pesticides linked to increased risk of Parkinson's
A new study has shown 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 showed 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 ALDH2 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," 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, said.
"Understanding this mechanism may reveal several potential targets for preventing the disease from occurring or reducing its progression," the researcher said.
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.
The study was published in the journal Neurology.
(Posted on 04-02-2014)