February 27, 2019
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A new study helps determine the role of pesticides and pollutants during the course of the progressive neurodegenerative disease that has no cure.
While exact causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unknown, new research shows pesticides and other environmental pollutants advance the progression of the neurodegenerative disease.
The latest study from the University of Michigan ALS Center of Excellence, recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (a BMJ journal), supports the group’s 2016 research that found increased levels of numerous pesticides in blood tests of people with ALS, says senior author Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., director of U-M’s ALS Center of Excellence.
“Our latest publication shows that other toxins like polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, are also elevated in ALS patients and correlate with poor survival,” says Feldman, a Michigan Medicine neurologist. “Our research shows that environmental pollution is a public health risk that we believe must be addressed.”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive disease that causes people to lose their ability to move their limbs and body.