Breathing in too many environmental toxins from bacteria, viruses, mold, dust, pollen, or chemicals could trigger Parkinson’s disease.

Published in Brain Pathology, a new study strengthens the hypothesis that parkinson’s disease starts in our noses. “Parkinson’s disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder,” recalls Randy Blakely, executive director of FAU’s I-BRAIN. Currently, there is no cure for the disease, and drugs that delay its progression have significant side effects,” he adds.

Loss of smell

Loss of smell is one of the first signs of Parkinson’s disease, and can even appear years before the tremors and decreased motor function. Some scientists believe that olfactory dysfunction may be linked to the genesis of the disease.

By working with mice, Dr. Ning Quan and his team have shown that inflammation of the lining of the nose subsequently triggers inflammation of the molecules in the brain involved in Parkinson’s disease. So breathing in too many environmental toxins from bacteria, viruses, molds, dust, pollens, or chemicals could trigger Parkinson’s disease.

“The data from our study shows that sequential inflammatory activation of the olfactory mucosa triggers subsequent expression of inflammatory molecules in the brain, spreading the inflammation,” says Dr. Ning Quan.

Motor and non-motor symptoms

A previously study by Public Health France reported two years ago that farmers and residents of cultivated areas have a 10% more risk in addition to contracting Parkinson’s disease, in particular because of pesticides.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological disease after Alzheimer’s disease. It is a pathology characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. As it progresses, patients will face an increased risk of dependence, in particular due to motor complications (dyskinesias, fluctuations, falls) and cognitive (cognitive decline, hallucinations, dementia).

Stephan Meed

A southern gentleman at heart, Stephan is a man you'll find mudding, off-roading, and fishing on a typical weekend. However, a nutritionist by profession, he is also passionate about fitness and health through natural means. He writes mostly health-related content for the Scientific Origin.