Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

UK Researchers: Parkinson's Disease Risk Greater in Those Exposed to Trichloroethylene

Published: Nov 30, 2011

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2011) — A University of Kentucky faculty member is a contributing author on a new study demonstrating a connection between a common solvent chemical and Parkinson's disease. Dr. Franca Cambi of the UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute collaborated with researchers from across the U.S. on a paper recently published in the Annals of Neurology.

The novel study looked at a cohort of human twins wherein one twin had been occupationally exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals believed to be linked to development of Parkinson's.

 

TCE has been previously linked to Parkinson's disease through prior research by UK authors and others, including the 2008 paper, "Trichloroethylene: Parkinsonism and complex 1 mitochondrial neurotoxicity," and the 2010 paper, "Trichloroethylene induces dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Fisher 344 rats." The 2008 paper was based upon a study of factory workers in a facility using chemicals that have been linked to development of Parkinson's disease.

 

In the most recent paper, the authors demonstrated that in addition to TCE, increase in Parkinson's disease risk is also associated with exposure to percholorethylene (PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCI4).
 

Occupational or environmental exposure to TCE, PERC and CCI4 is common due to the extensive use of the chemicals in dry-cleaning solutions, adhesives, paints, and carpet cleaners. Despite the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banning the use of TCE as a general anesthetic, skin disinfectant, and coffee decaffeinating agent in 1977, it is still widely used today as a degreasing agent. In the U.S., millions of pounds of TCE are still released into the environment each year and it is the most common organic contaminant found in ground water, detected in up to 30 percent of drinking water supplies in the country. 

 

The current epidemiological study, led by Drs. Samuel Goldman and Caroline Tanner of The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, Ca., investigated exposure to TCE, PERC and CCI4 as they related to risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The team interviewed 99 twin pairs from the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council World War II Veteran Twins Cohort in which one twin had Parkinson's and one didn’t, inquiring about lifetime occupations and hobbies. Lifetime exposures to six specific solvents previously linked to Parkinson's in medical literature — n-hexane, xylene, toluene, CCl4, TCE and PERC — were inferred for each job or hobby typically involving exposure to the chemicals.

 

While prior research has indicated a link between TCE exposure and Parkinson's disease, the current findings are the first to report a statistically significant association — a more than six-fold increased risk.  Researchers also found that exposure to PERC and CCI4 tended toward significant risk of developing the disease. 

 

This study focused on occupational exposures, but the solvents under investigation are pervasive in the environment. Lead author Goldman concluded: “Our findings, as well as prior case reports, suggest a lag time of up to 40 years between TCE exposure and onset of Parkinson's, providing a critical window of opportunity to potentially slow the disease process before clinical symptoms appear.”

 

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that as many as 500,000 Americans have Parkinson's disease and more than 50,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.  While there is much debate regarding the causes of Parkinson's disease, studies suggest that genetic and environmental factors likely trigger the disease - which is characterized by symptoms such as limb tremors, slowed movement, muscle stiffness, and speech impairment.  Several studies have reported that exposure to solvents may increase risk of Parkinson's, but research assessing specific agents is limited.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Elliott, allison.elliott@uky.edu

annalsofneuro.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Big Blue Commonwealth
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
Employer Showcase
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
28
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 02
Internship Info Session 09/02/2014
Reset Page