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Nanoplastics linked to Parkinson’s disease


nanoplastics

A US study has highlighted a potential environmental factor in Parkinson's disease, using mice combined with other research methods.


The research from Duke University, North Carolina, raises concerns about nanoplastics, commonly found in items like disposable cups, and their role in the increased accumulation of alpha-synuclein, a key protein in the progression of Parkinson’s disease.


Nanoplastics, measuring just 100 nanometres or less, are the result of the breakdown of larger plastic items due to pollution.and are often found in water and food.


Andrew West, lead researcher at Duke, said: “Our study suggests that the emergence of micro and nanoplastics in the environment might represent a new toxin challenge with respect to Parkinson’s disease risk and progression. This is especially concerning given the predicted increase in concentrations of these contaminants in our water and food supplies.”


This phenomenon was observed in test tubes, brain cell cultures, and validated in mice genetically altered to mimic Parkinson’s disease, in paper published in Science Advances.


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