Alzheimer's: the fault of pesticides and DDT?

In particular, DDT, although banned for some time in many parts of the world, could increase the risk of Alzheimer's

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

There is a sad correlation between Alzheimer and pesticides. In particular the DDTAlthough banned for some time in many parts of the world, it could increase the risk of sinking into this serious neurodegenerative disease.

Under accusation is the DDE, which is the most persistent metabolite of DDT, as reported by researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, of Piscataway (USA) in a study in the scientific journal Jama Neurology.

THE EXPERIMENT. The scholars analyzed the clinical history of 86 Alzheimer's patients by comparing them with 79 healthy people and found that the first have nearly 4 times higher levels of Dde in their blood. And not only that: in patients in whom DDE levels are particularly high, the risk of Alzheimer's goes from 1 to 4.

Thus, they ended up already on the table of the accused because they were guilty of increasing the risk of getting Parkinson's, pesticides could also play a sadly determining role in the formation of Alzheimer's disease. "This is one of the first studies that identifies a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's," says co-author Allan Levey, director ofEmory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and head of the Neurology of the Emory University School of Medicine - "The extent of this possible correlation is remarkable: comparable to the 'weight' of the main genetic risk factor".

In addition, the American scientists also found that high concentrations of DDT or its metabolite DDE, to which cultured neural cells were exposed, increased levels of the precursor protein beta-amyloid, the main component of plaques found in the brains of affected patients. from Alzheimer's.

DDT and its primary metabolites, DDE and DDD, are synthetic substances. DDT was released into the environment as a pesticide but was banned first in the US and then in Europe in the vast majority of uses in the early 70s. In the EU, the use of the product has been banned since 1986, while it continues to be used for vector control especially in areas affected by endemic malaria. DDT is one of the substances included in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Protocol on POPs of the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. DDT spreads to the atmosphere due to nebulization made in areas of the world where it is still used.

In short, "we are still exposed to these chemicals - specifies Jason Richardson - both because we eat products from other countries, and because the DDE persists for a long time in the environment" and could "store" as we age.

Germana Carillo

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