13th International Congress
13th International Congress

News Release

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, elaur@movementdisorders.org
+1 414-276-2145 (MDS Secretariat)
MDS 13th International Congress Press Room (June 7-11):
Le Palais des Congres de Paris,
Room 212/213, Level 2, Hall Maillot, TEL: +33 (0)1 40 68 63 74

Study Investigates Increased Susceptibility of Parkinson's Disease and Pesticide Exposure

PARIS - A study investigating the association of pesticide exposure combined with glutathione transferase (GST) genetic polymorphism shows an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, according to research presented today at The Movement Disorder Society's 13th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Other studies have previously shown that pesticide exposure may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease. This study, led by Ruey-Meei Wu, MD, PhD, and colleagues from National Taiwan University Hospital, examines the increased risk of PD among those exposed to pesticides and genetic polymorphism of GST, a family of proteins found in the body.

The results of the study show that the risk of PD appears to be more significant in patients who are exposed to pesticides and who carry high-risk GST genotypes. The combination of pesticide exposure and GST polymorphisms may provide further insight into the development of PD.

Caroline Tanner, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Research at The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California, states "Wu and colleagues have added to the evidence suggesting that inherited differences in the detoxification enzyme glutathione-S-tranferase pi (GSTP1) may increase the risk of PD in persons exposed to pesticides. This association of GSTP1, pesticides and PD, first reported 20 years ago, has been little studied. . . . Future work in the laboratory may identify those substrates of GSTP1 related to the increased risk of PD. This could in turn provide new understanding of the pathogenesis of PD, and potentially to approaches to prevention of the disorder."

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from 90 countries will be able to view over 1,700 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org