Pesticides and Parkinson’s disease: A potential hazard in agricultural communities

  • Smathorn Thakolwiboon Department of Neurology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock TX
  • Parunyou Julayanont Department of Neurology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock TX
  • Doungporn Ruthirago Department of Neurology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock TX
Keywords: pesticides, Parkinson, Parkinsonism, agriculture

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a prevalent neurodegenerative disorder. Its pathogenesis is
related to both genetic and environmental factors. Current evidence suggests that pesticide
exposure is one of the risk factors of PD. In this review, we summarize four molecular
mechanisms of pesticide-induced PD with supportive evidences from both laboratory and
epidemiological studies. Rotenone is the first pesticide reported to be associated with PD by
inhibiting complex I of mitochondrial electron transport chain. Paraquat, a commonly-used
herbicide in some countries, is an oxidative stressor causing dopaminergic neuronal loss which
contributes to the pathogenesis of PD. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and aldehyde
dehydrogenase (ALDH) inhibitors cause unwanted proteins (especially alpha-synuclein) and
3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) accumulation leading to dopaminergic neuronal
apoptosis. In addition, exposure to different pesticides affecting different mechanisms may
have synergistic effects in increasing risk of PD. Protective glove use, the amount of fat intake,
and neuroprotective agents are reported to have disease modification effects for pesticideassociated
PD.

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Published
2017-07-19
How to Cite
Thakolwiboon, S., Julayanont, P., & Ruthirago, D. (2017). Pesticides and Parkinson’s disease: A potential hazard in agricultural communities. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 5(20), 60-67. https://doi.org/10.12746/swrccc.v5i20.406