Posted on Nov 15, 2010, 6 a.m.
Industrial release of copper and manganese correlate to increased cases of Parkinson’s.
A degenerative condition for which there is currently no cure, Parkinson’s Disease affects an estimated 1 million Americans. Previous research has suggested that exposures to heavy metals may contribute to the disease onset. Brad A. Racette, from Washington State University (Missouri, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 5 million Medicare recipients who remained in the same residence from 1995 to 2003, comparing rates of Parkinson’s Disease to industry emissions of copper, lead, and manganese obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency. The team found that less than 1% of the subjects residing in urban areas developed Parkinson’s, with 274 of every 100,000 people residing in counties with little or no release of the metals, as compared to 489 per 100,000 in counties with high manganese levels. As well, areas with high copper emissions also correlated to increased numbers of Parkinson’s cases. Reporting that: “Urban Parkinson disease incidence is greater in counties with high reported industrial release of copper or manganese,” the researchers conclude that: “Environmental exposure to metals may be a risk factor for Parkinson disease in urban areas.
Allison W. Willis, Bradley A. Evanoff, Min Lian, Aiden Galarza, Andrew Wegrzyn, Mario Schootman, Brad A. Racette. “Metal Emissions and Urban Incident Parkinson Disease: A Community Health Study of Medicare Beneficiaries by Using Geographic Information Systems.” Am. J. Epidemiol., October 19, 2010; doi:10.1093/aje/kwq303.