The role of exposure to pesticides in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease: a 18 F-DOPA positron emission tomography study

Ruth Djaldetti*, Adam Steinmetz, Amihai Rigbi, Christoph Scherfler, Werner Poewe, Yaniv Roditi, Lior Greenbaum, Mordechai Lorberboym

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease (PD) is believed to involve an interaction between genetic and environmental factors. The role of pesticides as a risk factor of PD and neurodegeneration remains controversial. An asymmetric decrease in ligand uptake on 18 F-DOPA positron emission tomography (PET), especially in the dorsal putamen, is a sensitive marker of PD. The aim of this study was to examine the pattern of ligand uptake on 18 F-DOPA PET in patients with PD exposed or not exposed to pesticides. The main sample included 26 Israeli patients with PD, 13 who were exposed to pesticides and 13 who were not, matched for age and disease duration. All underwent 18 F-DOPA PET imaging, and an asymmetry index of ligand uptake between the ipsilateral and contralateral caudate, putamen, and whole striatum was calculated. No significant between-group differences were found in demographic variables, clinical asymmetry index (P = 0.15), or asymmetry index of ligand uptake in the putamen (P = 0.84), caudate (P = 0.78) and striatum (P = 0.45). Comparison of the 18 F-DOPA results of the Israeli cohort with those of 17 non-pesticide-exposed patients with PD from Austria yielded no significant differences, further validating our findings. Our observations suggest that although exposure to pesticides might be a risk factor for PD, it does not have an effect on the asymmetry pattern in the nigrostriatal system over non-exposure. We assume that once the disease process is initiated in pesticide-exposed patients, the pathogenic mechanism does not differ from that of idiopathic PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Asymmetry index
  • F-DOPA PET
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pesticides

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of exposure to pesticides in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease: a 18 F-DOPA positron emission tomography study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this