News about Parkinson’s Disease

May 27 2019

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) has been discussed in previous News articles from October 16, 2018 and March 13, 2014.

A recent European collaborative study has discovered that 131 genes associated with Parkinson’s Disease responded to increasing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels in the blood of healthy females but not males (Bohler et al.. 2019).

The gene expression analysis was undertaken in blood cells from 369 healthy female and 225 healthy male PCB-exposed subjects belonging to cohorts from Sweden and Italy.

PCBs have been shown to be related to PD in various ways. Some epidemiological studies have shown an association between PCB exposure and PD.

Further, it is known that some relatively abundant non-coplanar/non-dioxin-like PCB congeners (PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-180) accumulate in brains especially from deceased female PD patients.

In in vitro test systems, especially PCB-153 disturbed the dopamine balance with decreased intercellular and increased extracellular dopamine.

A recent short paper (Petersen et al. 2019) examined the relation between PD and migration to Denmark from Faroe Islands in the Atlantic, where the prevalence of PD is about twice that of Denmark.

It was a cohort study of the PD incidence among 26 408 first-generation Faroese immigrants to Denmark, to examine, whether individuals of Faroese origin living in Denmark had a higher PD incidence than Danes. Fifty-nine PD cases were observed, with a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of 1.5 (95% CI, 1.1-1.9). Females had higher incidence ratios than males.

It was concluded that first-generation Faroese immigrants to Denmark had a 50% higher incidence of PD than Danes, and the data provided no indication that the risk diminished with length of stay in Denmark.

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