Parkinson's disease and brain levels of organochlorine pesticides

Lora Fleming, John B. Mann, Judy Bean, Thomas Briggle, Juan R. Sanchez‐Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

249 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies have suggested an etiologic relationship between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's disease (PD). Organochlorine pesticides were assayed in postmortem brain samples from 20 PD, 7 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 14 nonneurological control cases. The three groups were similar in age at death, sex, and demographic variables. Only two of 16 pesticide residues screened were detected. A long-lasting residue of DDT (pp-DDE) was found in the majority of cases of PD and AD, as well as in all the control cases; pp-DDT was significantly more likely to be found in AD controls than the PD cases (Fisher's exact two-tailed, p = 0.04). Dieldrin was detected in 6 of 20 PD brains, 1 of 7 AD, and in none of 14 control samples. Despite the relatively small number of brains assayed, the association between Dieldrin and the diagnosis of PD was highly significant (p = 0.03). Dieldrin, a lipid- soluble, long-lasting mitochondrial poison, should be investigated as a potential etiological agent of Parkinsonism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-103
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Parkinson's disease and brain levels of organochlorine pesticides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Fleming, L., Mann, J. B., Bean, J., Briggle, T., & Sanchez‐Ramos, J. R. (1994). Parkinson's disease and brain levels of organochlorine pesticides. Annals of neurology, 36(1), 100-103.