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Genetics, Insecticides Might Contribute to Parkinson's

French study found combination raised risk of movement disorder in men

MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of genetic mutations and exposure to insecticides may increase a man's risk of Parkinson's disease, new research shows.

The study included 207 Parkinson's disease patients and a control group of 482 healthy people. The French team of researchers analyzed the participants for mutations in a gene called ABCB1 and assessed their lifetime exposure to pesticides.

Overall, mutations in the ABCB1 gene weren't associated with Parkinson's disease risk. However, the researchers found that the association between organochlorine insecticide exposure and Parkinson's disease was 3.5 times stronger in men with two mutated copies of the ABCB1 gene than among those with no ABCB1 mutations.

"Based on a biological hypothesis, we show that organochlorine insecticides may interact with ABCB1 in determining the risk of Parkinson's disease," Fabien Dutheil, of Universite Paris Descartes, Assistance-Publique Hopitaux de Paris, and colleagues concluded. "These findings support the hypothesis of gene x pesticide interactions in Parkinson's disease."

The study is published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about Parkinson's disease.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, June 14, 2010

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