How genetics and pesticide exposure shape blood DNA patterns in women with early Parkinson’s Disease

Authors: Samantha Schaffner, Will Casazza, Michael Kobor, Jessica Dennis, Chaini Konwar, Fanny Artaud, Sarah Merrill, Julia Schulze-Hentrich, Cloé Domenighetti, Sylvie Lesage, Alexis Brice, Jean-Christophe Corvol, Sara Mostafavi, Alexis Elbaz & DIGPD Study Group

Title: Genetic variation and pesticide exposure influence blood DNA methylation signatures in females with early-stage Parkinson’s disease

Summary: A new publication by Samantha Schaffner, Michael Kobor, Jessica Dennis, and colleagues has shown that genetic factors and exposure to pesticides can significantly impact specific DNA changes in the blood of women who have early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study focused on understanding how these changes in DNA, known as DNA methylation, are influenced differently in men and women. By examining female agricultural workers with early-stage PD and comparing their DNA patterns to those of healthy controls, their study found a stronger link between these DNA changes and PD in women than in men. Additionally, including genetic information and pesticide exposure details improved the accuracy of predicting these DNA changes. These findings suggest that both genetic makeup and environmental factors like pesticides play a crucial role in the development of Parkinson’s disease in women, pointing to the need for more targeted research based on gender and environmental interactions.

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