Using New Models to Explore the Origins of Parkinson Disease: Ray Dorsey, MD

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The professor of neurology at University of Rochester discussed a new model on how Parkinson disease may originate, highlighting potential environmental causes and progression. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

1SWATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"Understanding the origins of Parkinson disease could have enormous impact for insights into its development and progression, aiding in more targeted treatments and prognostic information for patients with the disease."

World Parkinson’s Day, held April 11, 2024, is an event dedicated to raising awareness of the Parkinson Disease (PD) between the medical and patient community. This movement disorder is considered the fastest growing brain disorder worldwide and research shows that the principal reason for this is exposure to environmental toxicants.1 These environmental toxicants that are plausible trigger mechanisms for PD include certain pesticides, industrial chemicals, and air pollution.

In a paper newly published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease on World Parkinson’s Day, researchers proposed the integration of environmental exposures into the brain-first and body-first models for PD.2 Conducted by lead author Ray Dorsey, MD, and colleagues, the proposal hypothesized that inhalation of certain pesticides, common dry-cleaning chemicals, and air pollution predisposed to a brain-first model of the PD. Other ingested toxicants, including tainted food and contaminated drinking water, are proposed to lead to the body-first model of the disease.3

Dorsey, a neurologist at University of Rochester Medical Center and professor of neurology at University of Rochester, recently sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview to discuss how the new model explains the potential environmental causes of PD. He also talked about the difference between the body-first and brain-first models of PD. Additionally, Dorsey shared his clinical viewpoint on how this model could potentially impact the way that PD is treated.

REFERENCES
1. Dorsey ER, Bloem BR. Parkinson's Disease Is Predominantly an Environmental Disease. J Parkinsons Dis. Published online January 9, 2024. doi:10.3233/JPD-230357
2. Dorsey ER, De Miranda BR, Horsager J, Borghammer P. The body, the brain, the environment, and Parkinson's disease. J Parkinsons Dis. Published April 9, 2024. doi:10.3233/JPD-240019.
3. On World Parkinson’s Day, a New Theory Emerges on the Disease’s Origins and Spread. News Release. University of Rochester Medical Center. Published April 11, 2024. Accessed April 11, 2024. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/on-world-parkinsons-day-a-new-theory-emerges-on-the-diseases-origins-and-spread
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