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#Doctor, could you comment on these topics to the #media today?

>> Camp Lejeune personnel at risk

>> A possible intestinal source of Parkinsons

The Med & Mic™ 05.16.23

MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC

Parkinson’s and Water Contamination

From an analysis of 158,000 military veterans, exposure to the industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) and other volatile organic compounds in drinking water increased the risk of Parkinson’s disease, which causes slow movement, rigidity, and tremor. Exposure at age 20 raised the risk 70% decades later, according to a study from the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. Personnel at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1975 to 1985 were compared to those at Camp Pendleton in California. From 1975 to 1985, the median monthly levels of TCE in drinking water were 70 times higher than permissible at Camp Lejeune. Wells supplied the base at that time. The researchers reviewed diagnosis codes on medical records to determine the higher risk at Camp Lejeune. The lead author says this is the largest human epidemiologic study to implicate TCE as a cause of Parkinson’s disease. (Source: MedPage Today, J. George, 5.15.23)

Parkinson’s and Gut Bacteria

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have identified a strain of intestinal bacteria, Desulfovibrio, that may lead to Parkinson’s disease. The team collected fecal samples from ten people with Parkinson’s disease and their healthy spouses. If Desulfovibrio bacteria were found, they were isolated. Then, worms received either Desulfovibrio or strains of E. coli, another type of bacteria in the gut. The worms that ate Desulfovibrio from people with Parkinson’s produced more of an abnormal protein, alpha-synuclein, compared to worms that ate Desulfovibrio from healthy subjects or E. coli. Alpha-synuclein clumps in the brain with Parkinson’s disease and could travel from the gut via a long nerve called the vagus nerve. Desulfovibrio bacteria are found in soil, water, and animal feces. More than ten million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease. The researchers believe that screening for Desulfovibrio and treating it may help to prevent Parkinson’s disease, though mouse studies are the next steps to confirm the study's findings. (Source: Medical News Today, C. Pelc, 5.15.23)

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