Symptoms of Parkinson's disease linked to fungus

November 11, 2013
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease linked to fungus
The researchers found that 'mushroom alcohol' has the potential to damage dopamine and cause Parkinson’s symptoms.

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at Rutgers and Emory universities have discovered that a compound often emitted by mold may be linked to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Arati Inamdar and Joan Bennett, researchers in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers, used fruit flies to establish the connection between the compound – popularly known as mushroom alcohol – and the malfunction of two genes involved in the packaging and transport of dopamine, the chemical released by nerve cells to send messages to other in the brain.

The findings were published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Parkinson's has been linked to exposure to environmental toxins, but the toxins were man-made chemicals," Inamdar said. "In this paper, we show that biologic compounds have the potential to damage dopamine and cause Parkinson's symptoms."

For co-author Bennett, the research was more than academic. Bennett was working at Tulane University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. Her flooded house became infested with molds, which she collected in samples, wearing a mask, gloves and protective gear.

"I felt horrible – headaches, dizziness, nausea," said Bennett, now a professor of plant pathology and biology at Rutgers. "I knew something about 'sick building syndrome' but until then I didn't believe in it. I didn't think it would be possible to breathe in enough mold spores to get sick." That is when she formed her hypothesis that volatiles might be involved.

Inamdar, who uses in her research, and Bennett began their study shortly after Bennett arrived at Rutgers. Bennett wanted to understand the connection between molds and symptoms like those she had experienced following Katrina.

The scientists discovered that the 1-octen-3-ol, otherwise known as mushroom alcohol, can cause movement disorders in flies, similar to those observed in the presence of pesticides, such as paraquat and rotenone. Further, they discovered that it attacked two genes that deal with dopamine, degenerating the neurons and causing the Parkinson's-like symptoms.

Studies indicate that Parkinson's disease – a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity and slow, imprecise movement—is increasing in rural areas, where it's usually attributed to pesticide exposure. But rural environments also have a lot of mold and mushroom exposure.

"Our work suggests that 1-octen-3-ol might also be connected to the disease, particularly for people with a genetic susceptibility to it," Inamdar said. "We've given the epidemiologists some new avenues to explore."

Bennett, also associate vice president for the promotion of women in science, engineering and mathematics at Rutgers, and Inamdar were joined by co-author Muhammad Hossein and Jason Richardson from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Alison Bernstein and Gary Miller of Emory University.

Explore further: Rare childhood disease may hold clues to treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

More information: "Fungal-derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration," by Arati A. Inamdar et al. PNAS, 2013.

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7 comments

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210
1 / 5 (9) Nov 11, 2013
A disaster: Katrina. Leads to insight of this magnitude! The human race, truly, progresses by fault. Stumbling into revelation, falling over obstacles and itself and even greatness...If, we do not destroy ourselves what might we become?!

word-to-ya-mutha
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (9) Nov 12, 2013
@210, can we maintain the focus of this as a Science site with comments likewise, I don't understand the point of your 'statement' its not even philosophical...

Suggest peek at my comment on this link for some relation to this article
http://medicalxpr...ans.html

One could easily include fungi as the pathogen in my comment or even a phage which finds habitat within a bacterium within the fungi etc...
210
1 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2013
@210, can we maintain the focus of this as a Science site with comments likewise, I don't understand the point of your 'statement' its not even philosophical...
..

"For co-author Bennett, the research was more than academic."
More than academic, mikey-boy, sure it is a science site, but as so often happens we, not YOU of course, bump into crap that has nothing to do with what we learned and it teaches us things!
New lesson for you; YOU do NOT give me orders. In a war between our minds YOU are unarmed! No matter all those nice credentials you falsely quote in your profile.
Katrina was a terrible thing, The author mentions it and what it lead her to discover and all, ALL, you can do is vulgarly self-promote and spinelessly brag about your comments! No, you cannot even boast of an achievement!!! You are a pathetically small being with little redeeming value or quality in the scheme of life. Go gag on your 'comments' you misanthropic blot on the escutcheon of humanity!
word-
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (7) Nov 16, 2013
@210,
- Focus of this site is science info primarily, not appropriate to bark idle attacks
- Who "Bennett" is - pointless ?
- Instead of diverge please focus on science, it's integrity in conjunction with focus
- No war, the highest ethics of science are one of my main foci, u betray your intent
- Please don't pretend un-intelligence, credentials confirmed by Curtin University, West Australia.
- Point re comment I made is re offering further info re pathogens & line of investigation
- Not smart to attack character, does u no credit.

Why not raise the bar & focus on science & with a rational basis in microbiology,
probability & experimental method? Discoveries are great & they must progress to be useful & can be pursued.

A higher ethic is to ignore barking anger & focus on the details of how the human
condition can be improved - such as through education & the most effective means is first
concentrating on health such as alleviating suffering with improving education for all.

Cheers
210
1 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2013
@210,
- Focus of this site is science info primarily, not appropriate to bark idle attacks
- Instead of diverge please focus on science, it's integrity in conjunction with focus
- No war, the highest ethics of science are one of my main foci, u betray your intent
- Please don't pretend un-intelligence, credentials confirmed by Curtin University, West Australia.
- Point re comment I made is re offering further info re pathogens & line of investigation
- Not smart to attack character, does u no credit.
-------
I did not attack what does NOT exist.
You get on this site attack me and then talk about "NO WAR"
Further, it does no one any good to try to read your cryptic comments - it is like trying to read your mind- USELESS AND POINTLESS!
Clearly you are in love with yourself, praising your own comments...go get a life and stop pretending you have one; Your fake credentials are CRAP! You are a self-important dullard lacking basic communication skills!
For you; Michael Jackson, BEAT IT!
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2013
@210
You have never actually offered science just complaints and prejudice, and likely jealousy,
My student number is 7602128, here is the Curtin University link:-
http://www.curtin.edu.au/

Go check with them & then you can stop pretending to be so truly unintelligent.

As I said before:-

A higher ethic is to ignore barking anger & focus on the details of how the human
condition can be improved - such as through education & the most effective means is first
concentrating on health such as alleviating suffering with improving education for all.

Looking forward to convergence upon Science - not barking complaints & from someone
who cannot or refuses to fill out their profile properly & hides behind a nick-name very sad.

Cheers
210
1 / 5 (5) Nov 18, 2013
@210
You have never actually offered science just complaints and prejudice, and likely jealousy,
My student number is 7XXXXXXXXX, here is the Curtin University link:-
http://www.curtin.edu.au/
Go check with them & then you can stop pretending to be so truly unintelligent.

Mike, you FOOL!
You may have opened yourself up to identity theft!
No one cares who you are here and most tolerate differing, even non-scientific views!
You need to mature GREATLY and RAPIDLY! Ok, I upset you, sorry.
You may, MAY, have potentially opened yourself up to great harm. No matter how hard Universities work to safeguard their databases, do NOT MIX PRIVATE WITH PUBLIC LIFE!
Please, remove your personal data from this site. Now we had our disagreement. Enough of that. You are heading in harms way and that IS NOT what I wanted to have happen here.
Also, my nick-name is not to hide behind, but to warn..it is my IQ, oh yes, it is!
PLENTY bad people come to this site! We had a fuss, it is over.
word-

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