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Neuroepidemiology 2010;35:191–195

α-Synuclein Gene May Interact with Environmental Factors in Increasing Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Gatto N.M.a · Rhodes S.L.a · Manthripragada A.D.a · Bronstein J.c · Cockburn M.d · Farrer M.e · Ritz B.a–c
Departments of aEpidemiology, bEnvironmental Health Sciences and cNeurology, University of California Los Angeles, and dDepartment of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., USA, and eDepartment of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • α-Synuclein
  • Pesticides
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Smoking
  • Age of onset
  • Paraquat
  • Interaction
  • REP1

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background: Although of great interest and suggested in prior reports, possible α-synuclein (SNCA) gene-environment interactions have not been well investigated in humans. Methods: We used a population-based approach to examine whether the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) depended on the combined presence of SNCA variations and two important environmental factors, pesticide exposures and smoking. Results/Conclusions: Similar to recent meta- and pooled analyses, our data suggest a lower PD risk in subjects who were either homozygous or heterozygous for the SNCA REP1 259 genotype, and a higher risk in subjects who were either homozygous or heterozygous for the REP1 263 genotype, especially among subjects with an age of onset ≤68 years. More importantly, while analyses of interactions were limited by small cell sizes, risk due to SNCA variations seemed to vary with pesticide exposure and smoking, especially in younger onset cases, suggesting an age-of-onset effect.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Beate Ritz, MD, PhD
Schools of Public Health and Medicine, UCLA
650 Charles E. Young Drive, Box 951772
Los Angeles, CA 90095 1772 (USA)
Tel. +1 310 206 7458, Fax +1 310 206 6039, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: March 25, 2010
Accepted: May 11, 2010
Published online: July 24, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 5
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 18

 goto top of outline Publication Details


Vol. 35, No. 3, Year 2010 (Cover Date: October 2010)

Journal Editor: Feigin V.L. (Auckland)
ISSN: 0251-5350 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0208 (Online)

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