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Pesticides now linked to Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Endometriosis

Jill OsborneYou may wonder why the ICN is covering research for Parkinson’s disease. This study demonstrates, yet again, that exposure to man made chemicals has the potential of causing serious chronic disease, in this case Parkinson’s disease, in patients with a specific genetic makeup. Frankly, this comes as no surprise. A few days ago, another study was released demonstrating a connection between the pesticide DDT and Alzheimer’s. Dioxin and certain pesticides have now been conclusively linked to the development of endometriosis. Because endometriosis and IC are strongly related… thus we must be receptive to, if not consider, the role of toxic chemical exposure in the development of IC and chronic irritation of the bladder as well.

Just as the Endometriosis Association strongly recommends that patients remove chemical toxins from their homes (i.e. strong cleaning products, wood solvents, scented candles, room freshening products), we encourage IC patients to do the same. The challenge, of course, is that many pesticides banned in the USA are used aggressively around the world and are brought in via food and other products. Whenever possible, AND to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure for you and your children, please eat ORGANIC foods grown, ideally grown in the USA. – Jill Osborne MA, ICN President

Researchers Uncover How Pesticides Increase Risk for Parkinson’s Disease and a Population that May be More Susceptible

Newswise — 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.

By |2017-01-31T13:17:25+00:00February 6th, 2014|Consumer Alerts, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, News, Self-Help Tips for IC, Bladder & Pelvic Pain, Toxic Exposures|Comments Off on Pesticides now linked to Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Endometriosis

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.