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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 33-34

Environmental Chemicals and Parkinson’s Disease

1 Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
2 Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura; Medical Experimental Research Center (MERC), Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Date of Web Publication26-Apr-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed Salama
Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura-35516
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_83_17

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How to cite this article:
Abdelfattah S, Salama M, Abdel-Rahman RH, El-Zalabany L, El-Harouny M. Environmental Chemicals and Parkinson’s Disease. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2018;8:33-4

How to cite this URL:
Abdelfattah S, Salama M, Abdel-Rahman RH, El-Zalabany L, El-Harouny M. Environmental Chemicals and Parkinson’s Disease. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 22];8:33-4. Available from:

The interest toward the environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) was initiated when the chemical 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine “MPTP” was identified as causing manifestations clinically similar to PD. These observations provided proof to the hypothesis that environmental chemicals exposure could cause PD.[1] Environmental chemicals refer to the chemical elements present in air, water, food, soil, or other environmental media, for example pesticides, solvents, metals, and air pollutants.[1]

   Pesticides Top

Pesticides include hundreds of chemicals with widely different structures and effects. Identifying the specific chemicals is important to understand the disease pathogenesis.[2] It was claimed that pesticides exposure is associated with PD.[3] Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are the potentially involved mechanisms in both PD pathophysiology and pesticide neurotoxicity.[4] Susceptibility to PD due to pesticides exposure may occur through the modification of genes responsible for coding detoxifying enzymes. For example, alterations in the neuronal aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes are associated with an increased risk of the development of PD in the persons who are exposed to fungicides.[2]

   Solvents Top

Occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene is associated with an increased risk of PD. Experimental studies showed that trichloroethylene causes  Parkinsonism More Details in rats, producing degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, reactive microglia, mitochondrial complex I inhibition, oxidative stress, and alpha-synuclein aggregation.[5]

   Metals Top

There is an increased risk of PD when people are exposed to various metals including manganese (Mn), iron, and copper.[6] Chronic manganese exposure results in its accumulation in brain, causing brain dysfunctions and extrapyramidal manifestations similar to PD known as Mn-induced parkinsonism or manganism, and this can be explained by the oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction caused by Mn.[7] It was also found that iron and copper chronic exposure can be a risk of PD through the production of free radicals that cause lipid, protein, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) oxidation, potentially resulting in dopamine neuron cell death.[8]

   Air pollutants Top

Some epidemiological studies linked ambient air pollutants to the PD incidence.[9] Air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide may affect the brain either directly through the transport of pollutants from the olfactory bulb or through the systemic inflammation that contributes to the neurodegenerative process.[10]

   References Top

Tanner CM, Goldman SM, Ross GW, Grate SJ. The disease intersection of susceptibility and exposure: Chemical exposures and neurodegenerative disease risk. Alzheimer’s Dement 2014;10:S213-25.  Back to cited text no. 1
Fitzmaurice AG, Rhodes SL, Lulla A, Murphy NP, Lam HA, O’Donnell KC et al. Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibition as a pathogenic mechanism in Parkinson disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2013;110:636-41.  Back to cited text no. 2
Pezzoli G, Cereda E. Exposure to pesticides or solvents and risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology 2013;80:2035-41.  Back to cited text no. 3
Miller RL, James-Kracke M, Sun GY, Sun AY. Oxidative and inflammatory pathways in Parkinson’s disease. Neurochem Res 2009;34:55-65.  Back to cited text no. 4
Goldman SM, Quinlan PJ, Ross GW, Marras C, Meng C, Bhudhikanok GS et al. Solvent exposures and Parkinson disease risk in twins. Ann Neurol 2012;71:776-84.  Back to cited text no. 5
Mortimer JA, Borenstein AR, Nelson LM. Associations of welding and manganese exposure with Parkinson disease: Review and meta-analysis. Neurology 2012;79:1174-80.  Back to cited text no. 6
Kwakye GF, McMinimy RA, Aschner M. Disease-toxicant interactions in Parkinson’s disease neuropathology. Neurochem Res 2017;42:1772-86.  Back to cited text no. 7
Willis AW, Evanoff BA, Lian M, Galarza A, Wegrzyn A, Schootman M et al. Metal emissions and urban incident Parkinson disease: A community health study of Medicare beneficiaries by using geographic information systems. Am J Epidemiol 2010;172:1357-63.  Back to cited text no. 8
Ritz B, Lee P-C., Hansen J, Lassen CF, Ketzel M, Sørensen M et al. Traffic-related air pollution and Parkinson’s disease in Denmark: A case-control study. Environ Health Perspect 2016;124:351.  Back to cited text no. 9
Lee H, Myung W, Kim DK, Kim SE, Kim CT, Kim H. Short-term air pollution exposure aggravates Parkinson’s disease in a population-based cohort. Sci Rep 2017;7:44741.  Back to cited text no. 10


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