Exposure to Specific Solvents Raises Parkinson's Risk

Ever exposure to trichloroethylene associated with significantly increased risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to certain solvents is associated with an increase in the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the Annals of Neurology.

Samuel M. Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., from the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif., and colleagues investigated whether exposure to specific solvents (n-hexane, xylene, toluene, trichloroethylene [TCE], perchloroethylene [PERC], and carbon tetrachloride [CCl4]) was associated with PD risk, using a discordant among twin pairs design. A detailed task-specific questionnaire was used to identify lifetime occupations and hobbies of 99 twin pairs discordant for PD. Expert raters, who were unaware of case status, estimated the exposure to these solvents.

The investigators found that TCE ever exposure correlated significantly with increased risk of PD (odds ratio [OR], 6.1). There was a trend toward significance for PD risk associated with exposure to PERC and CCl4 (OR, 10.5 [P = 0.053] and 2.3 [P = 0.088], respectively). Similar results were observed for estimates of cumulative lifetime exposure and exposure duration.

"Exposure to specific solvents may increase the risk of PD. TCE is the most common organic contaminant in groundwater, and PERC and CCl4 are also ubiquitous in the environment. Our findings require replication in other populations with well-characterized exposures, but the potential public health implications are substantial," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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