[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 23
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]


Parkinsons_and_PesticidesFor several years, neurologists at UCLA have been building a case that a link exists between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. To date, paraquat, maneb and ziram — common chemicals sprayed in California’s Central Valley and elsewhere — have been tied to increases in the disease, not only among farmworkers but in individuals who simply lived or worked near fields and likely inhaled drifting particles.

Now, UCLA researchers have discovered a link between Parkinson’s and another pesticide, benomyl, whose toxicological effects still linger some 10 years after the chemical was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Even more significantly, the research suggests that the damaging series of events set in motion by benomyl may also occur in people with Parkinson’s disease who were never exposed to the pesticide, according to Jeff Bronstein, senior author of the study and a professor of neurology at UCLA, and his colleagues.

Benomyl exposure, they say, starts a cascade of cellular events that may lead to Parkinson’s. The pesticide prevents an enzyme called ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) from keeping a lid on DOPAL, a toxin that naturally occurs in the brain. When left unchecked by ALDH, DOPAL accumulates, damages neurons and increases an individual’s risk of developing Parkinson’s.

The investigators believe their findings concerning benomyl may be generalized to all Parkinson’s patients. Developing new drugs to protect ALDH activity, they say, may eventually help slow the progression of the disease, whether or not an individual has been exposed to pesticides.

The research is published in the current online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions worldwide. Its symptoms — including tremor, rigidity, and slowed movements and speech — increase with the progressive degeneration of neurons, primarily in a part of the mid-brain called the substantia nigra. This area normally produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter that allows cells to communicate, and damage to the mid-brain has been linked to the disease. Usually, by the time Parkinson’s symptoms manifest themselves, more than half of these neurons, known as dopaminergic neurons, have already been lost.

While researchers have identified certain genetic variations that cause an inherited form of Parkinson’s, only a small fraction of the disease can be blamed on genes, said the study’s first author, Arthur G. Fitzmaurice, a postdoctoral scholar in Bronstein’s laboratory.

“As a result, environmental factors almost certainly play an important role in this disorder,” Fitzmaurice said. “Understanding the relevant mechanisms — particularly what causes the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons — may provide important clues to explain how the disease develops.”

Benomyl was widely used in the U.S. for three decades until toxicological evidence revealed it could potentially lead to liver tumors, brain malformations, reproductive effects and carcinogenesis. It was banned in 2001.

The researchers wanted to explore whether there was a relationship between benomyl and Parkinson’s, which would demonstrate the possibility of long-lasting toxicological effects from pesticide use, even a decade after chronic exposure. But because a direct causal relationship between the pesticide and Parkinson’s can’t be established by testing humans, the investigators sought to determine if exposure in experimental models could duplicate some of the pathologic features of the disease.

They first tested the effects of benomyl in cell cultures and confirmed that the pesticide damaged or destroyed dopaminergic neurons.

Next, they tested the pesticide in a zebrafish model of the disease. This freshwater fish is commonly used in research because it is easy to manipulate genetically, it develops rapidly and it is transparent, making the observation and measurement of biological processes much easier. By using a fluorescent dye and counting the neurons, the researchers discovered there was significant neuron loss in the fish — but only to the dopaminergic neurons. The other neurons were left unaffected.

Until now, evidence had pointed to one particular culprit — a protein called α-synuclein — in the development of Parkinson’s. This protein, common to all Parkinson’s patients, is thought to create a pathway to the disease when it binds together in “clumps” and becomes toxic, killing the brain’s neurons. (See UCLA research using “molecular tweezers” to break up these toxic aggregations.)

The identification of ALDH activity now gives researchers another target to focus on in trying to stop this disease.

“We’ve known that in animal models and cell cultures, agricultural pesticides trigger a neurodegenerative process that leads to Parkinson’s,” said Bronstein, who directs the UCLA Movement Disorders Program. “And epidemiologic studies have consistently shown the disease occurs at high rates among farmers and in rural populations. Our work reinforces the hypothesis that pesticides may be partially responsible, and the discovery of this new pathway may be a new avenue for developing therapeutic drugs.”

Other authors of the study included Lisa Barnhill, Hoa A. Lam, Aaron Lulla, Nigel T. Maidment, Niall P. Murphy, Kelley C. O’Donnell, Shannon L. Rhodes, Beate Ritz, Alvaro Sagastig and Mark C. Stahl, all of UCLA; John E. Casida of UC Berkeley; and Myles Cockburn of the University of Southern California. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This work was funded in part by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grants P01ES016732, R01ES010544, 5R21ES16446-2 and U54ES012078; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant NS038367; the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (Southwest Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center); the Michael J. Fox Foundation; the Levine Foundation; and the Parkinson Alliance.

The UCLA Department of Neurology, with over 100 faculty members, encompasses more than 20 disease-related research programs, along with large clinical and teaching programs. These programs cover brain mapping and neuroimaging, movement disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neurogenetics, nerve and muscle disorders, epilepsy, neuro-oncology, neurotology, neuropsychology, headaches and migraines, neurorehabilitation, and neurovascular disorders. The department ranks in the top two among its peers nationwide in National Institutes of Health funding.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts will host the legendary rapper Kurtis Walker, aka Kurtis Blow, as part of its visiting artist series, on Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
The five filmmakers selected for California State University, Northridge’s 28th annual Senior Film Showcase on May 2 are women, and their stories reflect the rich diversity of perspectives that make up America.
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
California State University will not increase tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, but will continue to fight for increased funding to meet its current needs, according to Chancellor Timothy P. White.
Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018
The California State University, Northridge Tom and Ethel Bradley Center has received a grant for $315,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the creation of a digital database of the Richard Cross 1950-1980 Photographic Collection.
Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018
COC's Canyon Country campus will stage the first-ever CanyonsFest Music Festival on Sunday, May 6, featuring Sue Rey and The Runarounds, Robert Heft Blues Band, Mary White and Magnolia Drawl, and Savannah Burrows.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
Veterans of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival stage were honored Saturday night as the city celebrated the festival’s silver anniversary at William S. Hart Park in Newhall.
Stars Share Spotlight as Cowboy Festival Turns 25
1974 - Gov. Ronald Reagan speaks at dedication of COC's first permanent building, the William G. Bonelli Instructional Resource Center [story]
1994 - Valencia Mercedes co-owner Eddie Murray sets MLB record for switch-hit home runs in games (11 times) [story]
A 25-year-old woman has been charged with shooting her boyfriend to death in the parking lot of a Canoga Park bar, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Newhall Woman Charged with Murder of Boyfriend
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts will host the legendary rapper Kurtis Walker, aka Kurtis Blow, as part of its visiting artist series, on Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Rapper Kurtis Blow Is CalArts’ Visiting Artist for Music
The five filmmakers selected for California State University, Northridge’s 28th annual Senior Film Showcase on May 2 are women, and their stories reflect the rich diversity of perspectives that make up America.
May 2: CSUN to Spotlight Hollywood’s Future Filmmakers
The CalArts School of Theater presented the graduating class of the Acting Program in a bi-coastal Actors Showcase at the Colony Theater in Burbank on Monday, April 16.
CalArts Actors Showcase Celebrates Graduating Class
TMU coach Zach Schroeder has said for weeks that this week's track meet in Azusa, California, would be crucial as far as Mustangs advancing to NAIA nationals.
Two Mustangs Qualify for NAIA Track Nationals
Heath Holder delivered four shutout innings in the first start of his professional career, but the JetHawks dropped the series opener to the Inland Empire 66ers, 8-3, on Thursday night at San Manuel Stadium.
Holder Strong in Season Debut, But JetHawks Fall 8-3
Santa Clarita-based Carnival Corporation and plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, has made several key senior executive appointments and promotions to serve its multiple brands and business units globally.
Carnival Names New Execs for 4 Cruise Lines
The Saugus Union School District has set its 2018 open house schedule to provide opportunities for Saugus parents to visit their children’s classrooms to view the amazing work accomplished this school year.
Saugus School District Slates 2018 Open House Events
SCV Kids Consignment, part of the LA Kids Consignment family of sales, continues its spring sale Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 in Castaic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
April 21-22: SCV Kids Consignment Spring Sale in Castaic
The Castaic Union School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a three-percent raise and a bonus for its educators at last week’s board meeting.
Castaic School Board OKs First Teacher Pay Raise in 12 Years
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, April 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
April 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Good seats are still available but going fast for the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival's 25th-anniversary gala celebration at Hart Hall on Saturday, April 21 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
April 21: Gala Celebrates Cowboy Festival 25th Anniversary
The Final Environmental Assessment, draft Decision Notice, and Finding of No Significant Impact for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Plan are complete, and a 45-day official objection period begins Friday before one of three options is chosen.
Forest Service Asks Public’s Input on San Gabriel Mountains Monument Plan
A Stevenson Ranch resident is missing more than $9,000 in jewelry, and suspects her roommates, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Deputy Kevin Duxbury reported in a post on the station's Facebook page
Grand Theft Prompts Victim to Suspect Roommates
Monday, April 23 is the deadline to apply for street pole Hometown Heroes military banners to be displayed by the city of Santa Clarita on Memorial Day, saluting actively serving military members from the Santa Clarita Valley.
April 23: Deadline to Order Hometown Heroes Military Banners
The Hart High School Baseball Program and the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will again present Hart Baseball Bingo Night at the Newhall club on Saturday, May 12, starting at 5 p.m.
May 12: Bingo Night Fundraiser for Hart Baseball Program
California State University will not increase tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, but will continue to fight for increased funding to meet its current needs, according to Chancellor Timothy P. White.
California State University Decides Not to Increase 2018 Tuition
Wednesday, May 2 is the deadline to apply for one of 23 positions with the Santa Clarita Library.
May 2: Deadline to Apply for 23 Santa Clarita Library Jobs
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN beach volleyball honored its first seniors Thursday, just after the Matadors improved to 15-6 with a 5-0 sweep over Cal State Los Angeles at the CSUN Beach Volleyball Facility.
Matadors Celebrate Senior Day, Sweep of UC Irvine
Parents from Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts, and Sciences were notified Wednesday that Einstein will surrender its charter from the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District and shutter its campuses.
Einstein Academy to Close Charter Schools
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN Baseball (17-19, 5-4 BWC) resume Big West play this weekend with a three-game series against UC Irvine at Matador Field.
Matadors Resume Big West Play with 3 Game Set Against UC Irvine
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday, April 26, at 10:30 a.m.
April 26: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will be holding its regular meeting Tuesday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m.
April 24: City Council Regular Meeting
Solo Flight Swing is a Southern California-based western swing band that performs hot western-swing, dixie, bop, originals, and covers.
April 20: Solo Flight Swing at The MAIN
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week starting on April 15 - April 22.
Volunteers of the Year Recognized by County Animal Control
In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles, College of the Canyons will be offering the next workshop for family caregivers.
April 28: Family Caregivers Workshop
Once again, the Paseo Aquatics Club entered the pool undermanned and underdogs, and came away with an impressive 15th place finish against 75 other teams, many of which were double and triple in size, at the recent Speedo Short Course Far Western Championships hosted by Santa Clara Swim Club.
Underdogs Paseo Aquatics Club Holds Their Own in Top State Meet
A reckless driver on Railroad Avenue led to a pursuit that landed four suspects in custody on Wednesday.
Newhall Pursuit Ends with Four Suspects in Custody
LANCASTER - Rancho Cucamonga homered five times Wednesday night as Lancaster fell, 11-4, in the series finale at The Hangar. Rancho’s Rylan Bannon became the second California League player this season to hit three home runs in a game.
JetHawks Fall to Quakes in Series Finale
Here is the Stevenson Ranch Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the week of April 9 - 15:
Crime Blotter: Assault, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
SACRAMENTO - California State Auditor released Thursday an audit requested by Senator Scott Wilk, R - Antelope Valley, last spring concerning homelessness in California and specifically the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's administration of public funds.
Audit on Homelessness Highlights Need for Improvement, Services