Women's health discussion
forums, research news and
women's health issues.
DISCUSSION FORUMS...

Trying To Conceive

Surviving Miscarriage

Overcoming Infertility

Reproductive Health

General Health

Contraception

Pregnancy

Parenting

Babies and Toddlers

Relationships

Mental Health

Diet & Weight


ARTICLES ABOUT...

Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Looking Good

STDs

Men

Contraception

Reproductive Health

Conceiving

Pregnancy

Incontinence

Mental Health

Children's Health

Eating Well

Healthy Living

Supplements

Menopause

Weight Issues

Breast Cancer

Custom Search

25 March 2008
Environmental Toxins Could Be Behind Motor Neuron Disease

Motor neuron disease (MND), in which the nerve cells that carry brain signals gradually deteriorate, may be triggered by environmental toxins, say a team of University of Michigan (UM) scientists. Writing in the March issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the researchers explained that the finding could be the first step in uncovering a possible link between chemicals in the environment and motor neuron disease.

The researchers discovered that a mutation in one key gene (neuropathy target esterase, or NTE) causes a previously unknown type of inherited motor neuron disease. But most intriguingly, the scientists found that the mutations caused changes in a protein already known to be involved when people develop neurologic disorders as a result of exposure to toxic organophosphates - chemicals commonly used in solvents and insecticides.

"We speculate there may be gene-environment interactions that cause some forms of motor neuron disease," says John K. Fink, professor of neurology at UM. "Our findings support the possibility that toxic organophosphates contribute to motor neuron disease in genetically vulnerable people," he added.

Tellingly, there have been recent incidents in Fiji, India and Africa when accidental consumption of oils containing neurotoxic organophosphates (instead of cooking oil) caused death or nerve damage for tens of thousands of people. Although scientists don't yet know the exact manner in which toxic organophosphate exposure leads to progressive and permanent nerve damage, they have learned that this process involves disturbance of an enzyme, NTE, contained within nerves.

Next, Fink and his team want to learn if mutations in the NTE gene happen in other types of motor neuron disease, and if the mutations make a person more vulnerable to neurological damage from organophosphate exposure. Fink's lab is currently using fruit flies as a model to study the NTE mutations, with the goal of finding treatments for people with motor neuron disease.

Related:
Environmental Toxins Behind Asthma?
Women Exposed To PCBs Less Likely To Conceive Boys
More Worrying Findings On Effects Of Common Chemical
Pesticides Behind Seasonal Premature Births?

Source: University of Michigan Health System


Discussion Forums     About Us     Privacy
Your use of this website indicates your agreement to our terms of use.
2002 - 2013 Aphrodite Women's Health and its licensors. All rights reserved.