Gene-toxin interaction as a putative risk factor for Parkinson's disease with dementia

Neuroepidemiology. 1998;17(2):96-104. doi: 10.1159/000026159.


We had previously examined environmental, sociodemographic and clinical variables as predictors for Parkinson's disease with dementia (PD + D) and found that lower educational attainment, greater motor impairment and advanced age at disease onset were more common in PD + D than in subjects with Parkinson's disease without dementia (PD-D). We now explore the hypothesis that genetic traits coupled with nongenetic factors may raise the risk of development of PD + D. The study cohort of 43 PD + D and 51 PD-D subjects was analyzed examining environmental, sociodemographic and clinical variables along with 3 candidate gene markers: poor debrisoquine metabolizer allele (CYP 2D6 29B+), monoamine oxidase B allele 1, and apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele. Variables were initially entered into a multivariate model singly. Again lower education, age at onset and motor impairment appeared as predictors of PD + D while other variables (including allele status) failed to emerge as significant individual risk factors for dementia. We then examined environmental and genetic variables analyzed in tandem to look for potential variable interactions. Subjects who had pesticide exposure and at least 1 copy of the CYP 2D6 29B+ allele had 83% predicted probability of PD + D (stepwise logistic regression model: p = 0.0491). This case-control study provides preliminary evidence that a gene-toxin interaction may play an etiological role in PD + D. Further assessment of the role of these putative risk factors in incident dementia in PD is indicated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Debrisoquin / metabolism
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Dementia / genetics
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Toxins, Biological / adverse effects*


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Genetic Markers
  • Pesticides
  • Toxins, Biological
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Debrisoquin