Link Between DDT Exposure and Alzheimer’s

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 A study shows an association between exposure to DDT (the chemical used to kill malaria-carrying mosquitos) and Alzheimer’s, but it has yet to be proven that DDT exposure causes Alzheimer’s since research has shown that patients had two high risk factors: the high levels of DDT “as well as a variation in the APOE gene, which is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.” (USA Today).
 
 Since scientists have found 20 genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, only APOE has a large effect on Alzheimer’s, which increases the risk in people who “inherit two copies of the variations” by 10 to 12 times, Scientist Steven DeKosky says.
 
 Although DDT was banned in the US in 1972 by the Environmental Protection Agency because of the risk to wildlife (jeesh no one also considered human life), it is still used in other countries, and its reintroduction was endorsed by the World Health Organization in 2006.
 
 So can we expect an influx of Alzheimer’s diagnoses in the coming years both pre and postmortem?
 
 “Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the USA, and affects more than 5.2 million Americans. As the country ages, the number of cases is expected to increase 40% by 2025,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
 
 To read more about this story and the research behind it visit
 
 Please join the Alzheimer’s Association in their fight to beat down and rid our world of Alzheimer’s. Visit: http://alz.org
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.
 
 
 Sources:
 USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/27/ddt-alzheimers-risk/4915421/
 
 Alzheimer’s Association: https://alz.org

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