Specific Solvents May Increase Risk of Parkinson's Disease

Discordant twin study shows significant link for TCE, trend toward significance for PERC, CCl4

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to specific solvents is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the June issue of the Annals of Neurology.

In effort to assess whether exposure to specific solvents is associated with Parkinson's disease risk, Samuel M. Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., of The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif., and colleagues conducted a discordant twin pair design study involving 99 twin pairs. Participants were interviewed using detailed job task-specific questionnaires regarding lifetime occupations and hobbies.

The researchers found that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) correlated with a significantly increased risk of Parkinson's disease (odds ratio [OR], 6.1; P = 0.034). There was a trend toward significance for exposure to perchloroethylene (PERC; OR, 10.5; P = 0.053) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4; OR, 2.3; P = 0.088).

"Although the present work focused on occupational exposures, solvents are ubiquitous in the environment, and this is particularly true for those implicated in this study -- TCE, PERC, and CCl4," the authors write. "Our findings require replication in other populations with well-characterized exposures, but the potential public health implications are considerable."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care industries.

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