Air Pollution May Create U.S. ‘Hot Spots’ for Parkinson’s Risk


By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2023 (HealthDay News)– People residing in greatly contaminated locations of the United States might be more susceptible to Parkinson’s illness, a brand-new research study recommends.

Specifically, the offender is a kind of air contamination called great particle matter (PM2.5), which is less than 2.5 microns in size and originates from automobile exhaust, burning of fuels in power plants and other markets, and forest and lawn fires, scientists state.

” We discovered an association in between Parkinson’s illness and direct exposure to great particle matter. In particular, individuals in the greatest direct exposure have a 25% higher threat of Parkinson’s illness compared to individuals with the most affordable direct exposure,” stated lead scientist Brittany Krzyzanowski, from the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz.

” We likewise discovered that the areas with the greatest association in between particle matter and Parkinson’s illness were the Mississippi-Ohio River Valley and the Rocky Mountain area,” she stated.

” Our findings recommend that the local distinctions in Parkinson’s illness may show that the structure of the particle matter in some locations might be more poisonous than others,” Krzyzanowski included. “We understand that air contamination triggers swelling in the brain, which is connected to Parkinson’s illness.”

Krzyzanowski stated that reducing levels of air contamination may assist reduce the threat of Parkinson’s, particularly in locations where contamination levels are high.

” Despite 30 years of research study attempting to recognize the ecological danger elements of Parkinson’s illness, the majority of efforts have actually concentrated on direct exposure to pesticides,” she stated. “Our work recommends that air contamination might be an essential factor in the advancement of Parkinson’s illness.”

For the research study, Krzyzanowski and her associates gathered information on more than 22.5 million Medicare clients in2009 Of these, almost 84,000 had Parkinson’s illness. The research study group mapped where the individuals lived and determined the rates of Parkinson’s illness for numerous areas. They likewise computed typical air contamination levels.

The detectives discovered that 434 individuals per 100,000 who were exposed to the greatest levels of PM2.5 established Parkinson’s illness, compared to 359 per 100,000 amongst those who resided in locations with the most affordable levels of PM2.5.

After considering other threats for Parkinson’s– such as age, cigarette smoking and usage of treatment– the scientists discovered that individuals with the greatest direct exposure to air contamination had a 25% increased threat of Parkinson’s illness, compared to individuals with the most affordable direct exposure.

The greatest association remained in the Rocky Mountain area, consisting of Lake County, Colo., southwest of Denver and its surrounding counties. The threat for Parkinson’s in those counties increased by 16% when going up from one level of great particle matter direct exposure to the next level, the findings revealed.

Air contamination was likewise related to greater rates of Parkinson’s in the Mississippi-Ohio River Valley, that includes Tennessee and Kentucky, however the association was weaker, with a 4% boost in danger when going up one level of great particle matter direct exposure to the next, the research study group discovered.

The findings are set up for discussion April 22 at the yearly conference of the American Academy of Neurology, in Boston. Findings provided at medical conferences must be thought about initial up until released in a peer-reviewed journal.

While the association discovered in the research study does not show a cause-and-effect link, one professional believes the association in between air contamination and the threat for Parkinson’s illness requires to be seriously thought about.

” The concept that a hotspot in the Mississippi-Ohio River Valley was possibly connected with increasing the danger of Parkinson’s illness by 25% is incredible,” stated Dr. Michael Okun, a medical consultant to the Parkinson’s Foundation and director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at the University of Florida Health, in Gainesville.

” The recognition of Parkinson’s illness ‘locations,’ which might assist us comprehend how the environment adds to the advancement of neurodegenerative illness, might supply another crucial piece to the ecological danger aspect puzzle,” Okun stated.

More details

For more on Parkinson’s, head to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

SOURCES: Brittany Krzyzanowski, PhD, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Ariz.; Michael Okun, MD, medical consultant, Parkinson’s Foundation, and director, Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, University of Florida Health, Gainesville; April 22, 2023, discussion, American Academy of Neurology yearly conference, Boston

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