UCSD-led study shows symptoms take decades to develop – ScienceDaily


Two years of heavy exposure to TCE, a liquid chemical that lingers in the air, water, and soil, can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 70%.

Previous research has linked TCE, or trichloroethylene, to some types of cancer, but a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology On May 15, 2023, it is believed to be the first large-scale study to prove an association with Parkinson’s disease.

TCE has been used industrially and commercially for nearly 100 years, and was used as a surgical anesthetic until it was banned in 1977. More recently it has been used as a degreasing solvent. Today, it is mainly used to reduce industrial metal parts. This entails heating the PCBs in the degreaser tanks to create steam that melts the grease, but also releases the chemical into the atmosphere. Once TCE enters the soil or groundwater, it can persist for decades.

In the study, researchers led by the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical Center compared diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease in nearly 160,000 Navy and Navy veterans. Just over half came from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where emergency and revitalization operations were being used to reduce military equipment and the water was polluted; The rest came from Camp Pendleton in California, where the water was not contaminated.

Service personnel spent at least three months in the camps between 1975 and 1985, during which time the Water Emergency Operations and Revival Division at Camp Lejeune exceeded maximum safety levels by 70-fold. The researchers had access to health follow-up data for service members between 1997 and 2021, by which time Parkinson’s disease is expected to develop.

Researchers found that of 430 veterans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the risk for Lejeune veterans was 70% higher than for Pendleton veterans. On average, service personnel in both camps were stationed there for approximately two years from 1975 to 1985. Residency began at an average age of 20, and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease occurred at an average age of 54 in Lejeune and 53 in Pendleton, which indicates that the disease It has taken decades to develop after TCE exposure.

First author Samuel M. Supplies contain measurable amounts of the chemical.

TCE production increased

“TCE remains a commonly used chemical in the United States and around the world. Its production has increased over the past several years and is widely available online,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know if you have had an exposure, unless you have come into direct contact with it. Many of us have detectable levels of TCE in our bodies, but it is metabolized and excreted very quickly, so blood and urine tests reflect exposure.” very modern.”

In addition, the researchers found that the Lejeune veterans had a higher prevalence of prodromal Parkinson’s disease — symptoms that are suggestive of Parkinson’s disease but do not yet meet the criteria for a diagnosis of the disease.

“Loss of smell, a sleep disorder known as RBD, anxiety, depression and constipation can all be early signs of Parkinson’s disease, but only a very small portion of people with it will develop it,” said lead researcher Carolyn M. Tanner. , MD, of the University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Neurology, Weill Neuroscience Institute and SFVA.

“The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in the future can be estimated using a risk score based on these symptoms. Legionnaires veterans had higher risk scores than Pendleton veterans, indicating that they are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in the future.”


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