Gene Works with Pesticides to Up Parkinson's Risk

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Ilena Rose, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Ilena Rose

    Ilena Rose Guest

    ~~~ Thanks, Ashley.~~~

    Gene Works with Pesticides to Up Parkinson's Risk

    Thu Apr 1, 2004 05:20 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Previous reports have suggested
    that exposure to various pesticides raises the risk of
    Parkinson's disease. Now, new research indicates that the
    risk is even higher in patients with a certain gene variant.

    In the body, many pesticides are broken down and made less
    toxic by an enzyme called cytochrome P450 D6 (CYP2D6). A
    certain variant in the CYP2D6 gene has been shown to
    produce an enzyme that is less effective at breaking down
    pesticides. As a result, people with this variant may be
    more susceptible to pesticides that might cause
    Parkinson's disease.

    The findings, which are reported in the Annals of Neurology,
    are based on a study of 247 Parkinson's disease patients and
    676 healthy subjects enrolled in the French health insurance
    organization for farmers and related job classes. DNA from
    subjects in both groups was tested for the CYP2D6 variant.

    Consistent with previous reports, Dr. Alexis Elbaz, from
    Hopital de la Salpetriere in Paris, and colleagues found
    that pesticide exposure increased the risk of Parkinson's
    disease, even in people without the gene variant. No
    elevated risk of Parkinson's disease was seen in people not
    exposed to pesticides, even if they had the variant.

    The highest Parkinson's disease risk occurred in pesticide-
    exposed subjects who had no normal copies of CYP2D6, only
    variants, the authors note. Compared with other exposed
    patients, such patients were
    2.4-times more likely to have Parkinson's disease.

    "Larger studies and laboratory data may help to elucidate
    which pesticides are metabolized through (the CYP2D6)
    pathway and have an effect on the risk of Parkinson's
    disease," the investigators conclude. SOURCE: Annals of
    Neurology, March 2004.