Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene-Toxin Link May Shed Light On Cause Of Parkinson’s Disease

Date:
August 6, 1998
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Researchers seeking a cause for dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease have discovered that the combination of a defective gene and exposure to pesticides may increase a person’s risk for developing the dementia.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Researchers seeking a cause for dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease have discovered that the combination of a defective gene and exposure to pesticides may increase a person’s risk for developing the dementia.

Related Articles


A study found that a group of Parkinson’s patients who had a particular mutant gene, or allele, and who were exposed to pesticides in the past, were three times more likely to develop dementia than Parkinson’s patients who lacked the two factors. About one out of every five Parkinson’s patients develops dementia.

“The gene alone, coupled with environmental exposure, turned out to be a potent risk factor for Parkinson’s with dementia in a group of patients with the disease,” said Jean Hubble, clinical associate professor of neurology at Ohio State University.

According to the study, published in a recent issue of Neuroepidemiology, potential risks for developing Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PD+D) include pesticide exposure and at least one defective copy of a gene called CYP 2D6 29B+. This gene activates a series of enzymes in the liver that metabolize and detoxify chemicals that get into the body.

Parkinson’s disease is a muscular disorder that causes a person to lose control of coordination. It also causes tremors, poor balance, slowness and stooped posture. These symptoms are more severe in people with PD+D.

The researchers studied 43 patients with PD+D and 51 with Parkinson’s disease but who did not have dementia. They analyzed three genes suspected of playing a role in predisposing a person to the disease. They also considered three other characteristics shown to be more common among Parkinson’s patients with dementia: Having less than 12 years of formal education, the onset of symptoms after age 60 and greater motor impairment. The researchers also considered substantial pesticide exposure and family history of the disease.

“There was a hint that chemical exposures might be important where dementia is concerned,” Hubble said, noting that past research has shown pesticide exposure to be a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers paired the three suspect genes with each other and with pesticide exposure. Only the mutant CYP gene-pesticide exposure combination emerged as a significant risk factor for dementia in Parkinson’s.

In the 43 patients with PD+D, 12 percent had both the defective gene and a history of pesticide exposure while 2 percent of the same group had neither factor. The study defined exposure to pesticides as 20 or more days in any given year. Hubble said the 20-day exposure is based on typical use of chemicals in commercial farming. But it’s unclear if pesticides are a direct cause of PD+D.

“Pesticides may be perfectly safe for 90 percent of the U.S. population because most people can readily detoxify these chemicals,” Hubble said. “Perhaps there’s a small percentage of individuals who cannot handle or detoxify chemical compounds because of their mutant CYP allele or other genetic factors.”

She said the results of the study should be interpreted with caution.

“Our study does not show that pesticide exposure is the cause of dementia in Parkinson’s disease,” Hubble said. “All we’ve shown is that these two factors together appear to raise the relative risk of developing dementia in Parkinson’s disease.”

Hubble conducted the study with researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center, the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix and the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center in Seattle.

The study was funded with grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Parkinson’s Disease Research Fund at the Barrow Neurological Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Gene-Toxin Link May Shed Light On Cause Of Parkinson’s Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980806085805.htm>.
Ohio State University. (1998, August 6). Gene-Toxin Link May Shed Light On Cause Of Parkinson’s Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980806085805.htm
Ohio State University. "Gene-Toxin Link May Shed Light On Cause Of Parkinson’s Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980806085805.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins