DDT exposure linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Natural Health News – Scientists have known for more than 40 years ago that the synthetic pesticide DDT it is harmful to bird habitats and a threat to the environment.

Now a team of researchers at Rutgers University, Emory University and the University of Texas, say that exposure to DDT – banned in the United States since 1972, but is still used as a pesticide in other countries – can also increase the risk and severity of Alzheimer’s disease in some people, especially those over the age of 60.

the study, published online in Archives of Neurology showed that levels of DDE, the left chemical compound when DDT breaks down, were higher in the blood of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients compared to those without the disease.

DDT was introduced as a pesticide during World War II and used in the United States and other countries to control insects on crops and livestock and to combat insect-like malaria transmitted diseases.

This study aims to be the first to link a specific chemical compound for Alzheimer’s disease and, according to the researchers, who urgently need to know more about how DDT and DDE can trigger neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

pay attention to environmental causes

Commenting on the findings of the authors, Jason R. Richardson, associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine professor Medical School Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers’ and member of Sciences Institute of environmental and Occupational Health (EOHSI) said:

“I think these results show that more attention should focus on the potential environmental contributors and interaction with genetic susceptibility. Our data can help identify those who are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and potentially could lead to earlier diagnosis and better outcome. “

Although DDT levels and DDE have declined significantly in the United States during the past three decades, the toxic pesticide still found in 75-80% of blood samples taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention. This is because the chemical can take decades to decay in the environment.

In addition, people can be exposed to pesticides by eating imported fruits, vegetables and grains, where DDT is still used and consumption of fish from the polluted waterways.

More DDE in blood

The study of 74 of the 86 Alzheimer’s patients involved – whose average age was 74 – had blood levels of DDE almost four times more than 79 people in the control group who do not have Alzheimer’s disease


studies of brain cells found that DDT and DDE increased the amount of a disease associated with plaque protein (called amyloid proteins) are He believed to be a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

These sticky plates – which can be formed in regions of the brain involved in memory, learning and thinking -. Break off and fall into the brain and increase as the disease progresses

This new research is important, says Richardson, as it suggests that DDT and DDE can contribute directly to the development process of plaque. “We need more research to determine if this occurs and how the chemical interacts with the ApoE4 gene,” says Richardson.

Beyond genetics

The scientists also found that patients with a version of the ApoE gene (ApoE4), which significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and high levels of DDE showed even more serious than those without this gene cognitive impairment.

Although the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known, scientists believe that late-onset Alzheimer’s disease may correspond to a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Much of the research on Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases mostly has focused on the search for genetic connections, says Richardson.

“This study shows that are not additional contributors to Alzheimer’s disease that should be examined and that can help identify people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” says Richardson. “It’s important because when it comes to diagnosing and treating this and other neurodegenerative diseases, the earlier someone is diagnosed, there are more options may be available.”

is not the first study to find this link

Although this may be the first study that relates specifically to DDT Alzheimer – is not the first study to link the exposure to pesticides with this and other related neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, association is well established .

A 2011 review by Spanish researchers , for example, found that the prevalence and risk of Alzheimer’s disease, disease, sclerosis and multiple suicide Parkinson were significantly higher in districts with increased use of pesticides compared to those with less use of pesticides. Another in 2010 which focused on a farming community in Utah found that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rose 42% in those with occupational exposure to pesticides . A 2001 study in Canada found that occupational exposure to fumigants and / or defoliants raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease more than four times.

also known as pesticides neonicotinoids (or neonics) have been shown to give a kind of Alzheimer bees , which are thought to contribute to their fatal effects on our pollinators.

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