Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pesticides increase risk for Parkinson's disease: Certain people may be more susceptible

Date:
February 3, 2014
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
Previous studies have shown the certain pesticides can increase the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. Now, researchers have now found that the strength of that risk depends on an individual’s genetic makeup, which in the most pesticide-exposed populations could increase the chances of developing the debilitating disease by two- to six-fold.

New research looks at the relationship between pesticides and Parkinson's.
Credit: UCLA

Previous studies have shown the certain pesticides can increase the risk for developing Parkinson's disease. Now, UCLA researchers have now found that the strength of that risk depends on an individual's genetic makeup, which in the most pesticide-exposed populations could increase the chances of developing the debilitating disease by two- to six-fold.

In a previous study published January 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the UCLA research team discovered a link between Parkinson's and the pesticide benomyl, a fungicide that has been banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That study found that benomyl inhibited an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), which converts aldehydes highly toxic to dopamine cells into less toxic agents, and therefore contributed to the development of Parkinson's.

In this study, UCLA researchers tested a number of other pesticides and found 11 that also inhibit ALDH and increase the risk of Parkinson's, and at much lower levels than those at which they are currently being used, said study lead author Jeff Bronstein, a professor of neurology and director of movement disorders at UCLA.

Bronstein said the team also found that people with a common genetic variant of the ALDH2 gene are particularly sensitive to the effects of ALDH-inhibiting pesticides, and were two to six times more likely to develop Parkinson's than those without the variant when exposed to these pesticides.

The results of the epidemiological study appear Feb. 5, 2014 in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"We were very surprised that so many pesticides inhibited ALDH and at quite low concentrations, concentrations that were way below what was needed for the pesticides to do their job," Bronstein said. "These pesticides are pretty ubiquitous, and can be found on our food supply and are used in parks and golf courses and in pest control inside buildings and homes. So this significantly broadens the number of people at risk."

The study compared 360 patients with Parkinson's in three agriculture heavy Central California counties to 816 people from the same area who did not have Parkinson's. Researchers focused their analyses on individuals with ambient exposures to pesticides at work and at home, using information from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

In the previous PNAS study, Bronstein and his team determined the mechanism that leads to increased risk. Exposure to pesticides starts a cascade of cellular events, preventing ALDH from keeping a lid on DOPAL, a toxin that naturally occurs in the brain. When ALDH does not detoxify DOPAL sufficiently, it accumulates, damages neurons and increases an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's.

"ALDH inhibition appears to be an important mechanism by which these environmental toxins contribute to Parkinson's pathogenesis, especially in genetically vulnerable individuals," said study author Beate Ritz, a professor of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. "This suggests several potential interventions to reduce Parkinson's occurrence or to slow its progression."

In this study, the research team developed a lab test to determine which pesticides inhibited ALDH. Then the researchers found that those participants in the epidemiologic study with a genetic variant in the ALDH gene were at increased risk of Parkinson's when exposed to these pesticides. Just having the variant alone, however, did not increase risk of the disease, Bronstein said.

"This report provides evidence for the relevance of ALDH inhibition in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis, identifies pesticides that should be avoided to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease and suggests that therapies modulating ALDH enzyme activity or otherwise eliminating toxic aldehydes should be developed and tested to potentially reduce Parkinson's disease occurrence or slow its progression particularly for patients exposed to pesticides," the study states.

The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (P01ES016732, R01ES010544, 5R21ES16446-2 and U54ES012078), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS038367), the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Levine Foundation, the Parkinson Alliance, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award in Molecular Toxicology (T32ES015457).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original article was written by Kim Irwin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. G. Fitzmaurice, S. L. Rhodes, M. Cockburn, B. Ritz, J. M. Bronstein. Aldehyde dehydrogenase variation enhances effect of pesticides associated with Parkinson disease. Neurology, 2014; 82 (5): 419 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000083

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Pesticides increase risk for Parkinson's disease: Certain people may be more susceptible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203163428.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2014, February 3). Pesticides increase risk for Parkinson's disease: Certain people may be more susceptible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203163428.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Pesticides increase risk for Parkinson's disease: Certain people may be more susceptible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203163428.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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