Certain environmental toxins can produce a Parkinson’s disease-like condition in experimental animals.
No-one really knows what causes Parkinson’s disease, but it’s suspected that there could be a link to environmental toxins. Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine shed new light on this issue. They have found that compounds called proteasome inhibitors induce a disease that resembles Parkinson’s in rats.
After two weeks of getting injections of proteasome inhibitors, the animals show symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease – slowness of movement, rigidity and tremor. It is already known that proteasomes – cell structures that dispose of abnormal proteins – are defective in Parkinson’s disease. So maybe it is not surprising that inhibitors are a potential cause of the disease.
Certain bacteria and fungi produce proteasome inhibitors, and some man-made chemicals have this effect too. We need more information now about human exposure to these chemicals, and how such exposures might lead to Parkinson’s disease.
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