Link to Blog Post at DifferentBrains.org
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Dr. Marcia Ratner, discusses the role neurotoxic chemical exposures play in creating neurodiverse conditions, and gives tips on prevention and treatment options.
Link to Blog Post at DifferentBrains.org
Ana Sandoiu reports in Medical News Today on her interview with Dr. Scott Ryan whose research is focused on investigating why some people develop Parkinson's disease while other do not," According to Dr. Ryan, "People with a predisposition for Parkinson's disease are more affected by these low-level exposures to agrochemicals and therefore more likely to develop the disease."
He and his colleagues used human cells to study the role of two pesticides, paraquat and maneb, in Parkinson's disease. They found that the levels of these toxic chemicals that impaired the cells in their model were below those deemed safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggesting that the EPA's guidelines for paraquat and maneb should be re-evaluated.
Link to original story in Medical News Today
ABC News is reporting on new research from Kristine Yaffe, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, show that head injuries leading to a mild concussion or mild traumatic brain injury are associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. This new data expands on that from previous research which has found between that moderate to severe traumatic brain injury are associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
We have always included questions about a patients history of head injury and loss of consciousness in our questionnaires designed to assess for associations between exposure to chemicals and age at onset of neurodegernative diseases such as Parkinson's. We believe that head injuries like chemical exposures can modify the subclinical course of neurodegenerative diseases to thereby alter age at onset of overt symptoms and therefore, must be considered in the differential diagnosis.
Link to story at ABC News
Documenting VOCs in the workplace just got easier with introduction of game changing smartphone technology
The DailyMail is reporting on the release of a new smartphone from CAT that has an on-board air sensor made by the Sensirion. The new phone can detect Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) commonly found in paints, solvents, carpets, furniture and cleaning products. This phone is a potential game changer for anyone at risk of occupational or environmental exposures to VOCs. The data these phones can detect could potentially be used in future research aimed at understanding the role of neurotoxic VOCs in age-related neurodegenerative diseases as well.
Link to original story in DailyMail
Link to CAT website
The WKU Herald is reporting a story about ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox whose research looking at the Ogimi people of rural Japan, suggests that a diet high in the amino acid L-serine may provide neuroprotection and even delay Alzheimer’s disease onset until very late in life. According to Cox “If we dose early, we can push off Alzheimer’s until you’re 115 to 120 years old,” According to the article, the "standard Ogimi diet consists of various types of seaweed, tofu and pork, and is the highest diet ever measured in L-serine". So should you load up on L-serine? Not so fast, but you may want to follow the clinical trials that are underway at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Link to original story on WKU Herald website.
Link to FDA website for clinical Trial
An association between cadmium exposure and cognitive deficits in mice has been reported by Wang an colleagues. Exposure to cadmium was associated with impaired performance on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory tasks. An association between urinary cadmium levels and AD risk in human subjects has previously been reported by Peng and colleagues. Peng and colleagues suggested that toxicological studies were need to further elucidate their findings in humans. This new study in mice lends support to the hypothesis that there could be an interaction between these two factors shown to influence cognitive performance.
Link to Peng et al, 2017
Link to Wang et al, 2018
An article by Denis Thompson of Daily Health News which appears this month on WebMd calls our attention to the unfortunate fact that despite the billions of dollars and years of time spent on research, medical science has still not discovered any way to prevent or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Many genes and proteins have been implicated in the disease and yet known of these has been found to be a druggable target suitable for effective disease prevention. The good news is that exercise and lifestyle changes may at least help to slow disease progression and delay onset.
Link to story on WedMD
The results of a new study by Gigante and colleagues (2017) published in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders indicates that smoking is associated with an older in age-at-onset of motor signs in patients with Parkinson's disease. These new findings are consistent with our own also showing an older age at onset of PD among ever smokers (see Ratner et al. 2014). These data provide additional support for the hypothesis that exposure to chemicals can modify the progression of PD to influence age at onset of the disease.
Link to original article in PubMed
Neurology Advisor is reporting on recent findings by Rooney and colleagues published in the journal Neurology which suggest that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) provides protection against ALS. This large case control study investigated subjects from Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. It is important to recognize that the most common form of HRT currently in use contains conjugated equine estrogens. Animal models suggest that estradiol (E2) provides neuroprotection (Groeneveld et al., 2004). Future studies will be needed to ascertain if E2 provides greater neuroprotection than estrone (E1) in female human subjects.
Link to original story in Neurology Advisor
Link to citation in Pubmed
Dr. Dimitri Krainc, the Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and chair of neurology at Northwestern University and Dr. Lena Burbulla, a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory, have shown that administration of antioxidants early in the disease process may break the degenerative cycle and improve neuronal function in Parkinson's disease. These authors identified a time-dependent pathological cascade in human neurons that begins with an increase in mitochondrial oxidative stress leading to accumulation of oxidized dopamine followed by lysosomal dysfunction and α-synuclein accumulation. This neuropathological toxic cascade was not observed in mouse model PD neurons. These results are consistent with my own research suggesting that compounds that increase oxidative stress have the potential to hasten disease progression resulting in a younger age at onset of disease. Most importantly, these observations point to an opportunity to slow subclinical disease onset through early changes in lifestyle such as avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals that increase oxidative stress.
Link to Original Story in Science Daily
Link to Article in Science
Dr. Marcia Ratner shares and reviews the news.