Gene brings higher risk of Parkinson’s after pyrethroid exposure

Photo Credit: Michael Knowles Photo Credit: Michael Knowles

A new study published in npj has found that exposure to the pesticide class known as pyrethroids may make some people more susceptible to Parkinson’s disease if they have a common gene. Data collected from 962 participants from agricultural counties in California were analyzed to determine how presence of the gene and pesticide exposure influenced Parkinson’s disease risk. The results suggested that alone, neither presence of the common gene nor exposure to pyrethroids increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. However, Parkinson’s disease risk significantly increased for individuals with the common gene who were exposed to pyrethroid pesticides. Individuals with the common gene but who were not exposed to pyrethroids did not have an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s. This study is one of the first to find a link between pesticide exposure and genetic risk for Parkinson’s.