Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doubts Cast On Organophosphate Poisoning As Cause Of Gulf War Syndrome Depression

Date:
December 26, 2006
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health casts doubt on the belief that organophosphate poisoning causes symptoms of depression among Gulf War veterans and farmers, who are exposed regularly to these chemicals.

Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health casts doubt on the belief that organophosphate poisoning causes symptoms of depression among Gulf War veterans and farmers, who are exposed regularly to these chemicals.

Several previous studies have found that people who are regularly exposed to organophosphates are more likely than the general population to have symptoms of depression, including irritability, difficulty concentrating and poor sleep patterns.

But these studies do not prove that organophosphates are responsible for these symptoms.

In a bid to look at the association more closely, researchers from the University of Bristol tested out the theory among older women between the ages of 60 and 79, who would not have been habitually exposed to organophosphates in the course of their employment.

The women were already part of a long term study of women's health, involving more than 4,000 participants from 23 British towns.

They were surveyed about their levels of depression, and blood samples were taken for genetic testing.

Because an individual’s genetic make-up (genotype) is randomly determined from their parents’ genotype at the time of conception, genes can be used to test whether a non-genetic factor (for example, organophosphates) causes a disease.

The PON1 Q192R gene comes in three versions (QQ, QR or RR) and individuals with the RR version tend to metabolise organophosphates more slowly than those with either of the other versions.

Several previous studies have shown that Gulf War Veterans and sheep dippers with the RR genotype had a higher probability of symptoms.

In agreement with this, the results from the new study found that women in the study with the genetic variant were significantly more likely to report depression than those without the variant.

But because these women had not been exposed to organophosphates, these new findings suggest that the association of this gene with depressive symptoms is unlikely to be explained by organophosphate poisoning, because the association is the same, irrespective of exposure to organophosphates.

In fact, the authors suggest that exposure to more mundane everyday toxins or activities, rather than the specific chemical hazards found in warfare and farming, are likely to have a role.

The authors also note that recent research has suggested that rather than slowing the capacity to clear organophosphates from the body, the genetic variant actually does the opposite and speeds it up, so minimising exposure.

The authors point out that their findings do not negate the biological basis theory of the Gulf War Syndrome, but suggest that reliance on genetic vulnerability studies in specific groups is 'perhaps misplaced'.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Doubts Cast On Organophosphate Poisoning As Cause Of Gulf War Syndrome Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221074544.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2006, December 26). Doubts Cast On Organophosphate Poisoning As Cause Of Gulf War Syndrome Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221074544.htm
University of Bristol. "Doubts Cast On Organophosphate Poisoning As Cause Of Gulf War Syndrome Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221074544.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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