(HealthDay News) – Exposure to specific solvents is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in the June issue of the Annals of Neurology.

In effort to assess whether exposure to specific solvents is associated with Parkinson’s disease risk, Samuel M Goldman, MD, MPH, of The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, CA, and colleagues conducted a discordant twin pair design study involving 99 twin pairs. Participants were interviewed using detailed job task-specific questionnaires regarding lifetime occupations and hobbies.

The researchers found that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) correlated with a significantly increased risk of Parkinson’s disease (odds ratio [OR], 6.1; P=0.034). There was a trend toward significance for exposure to perchloroethylene (PERC; OR, 10.5; P=0.053) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4; OR, 2.3; P=0.088).

“Although the present work focused on occupational exposures, solvents are ubiquitous in the environment, and this is particularly true for those implicated in this study — TCE, PERC, and CCl4,” the authors write. “Our findings require replication in other populations with well-characterized exposures, but the potential public health implications are considerable.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care industries.

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