Genetic link may tie together pesticides, ADHD, Gulf War syndrome & FMS too?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by idiotsinc, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    Anyone that has read my postings has heard me ramble on about the neurological basis of FMS and how it's connected to attention deficit and other neurological problems such as the Gulf War syndrome, anxiety disorder etc. Here's a little more info on the possible connection. If you have any questions I'll try to respond tommorrow, I'm out of here.


    Public release date: 17-Mar-2003

    Contact: Dr. Carrolee Barlow
    (Edited to remove URL)
    Salk Institute

    Genetic link may tie together pesticides, ADHD, Gulf War syndrome and other disorders
    La Jolla, Calif.-Research at the Salk Institute has identified a gene that may link certain pesticides and chemical weaponry to a number of neurological disorders, including the elusive Gulf War syndrome and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    The finding, published in the March 17 online version of Nature Genetics, is the first to demonstrate a clear genetic link between neurological disorders and exposure to organophosphate chemicals; the gene is one that scientists had not studied in previous efforts to find connections between these chemicals and disease. Organophosphates include household pesticides as well as deadly nerve gases like sarin.

    Dr. Carrolee Barlow, who led the work at the Salk Institute and is now at Merck and Co., Inc., and her team, headed by Christopher Winrow, found in mice that organophosphate exposure inhibited the activity of a gene called neuropathy target esterase, or NTE. This inhibition either killed the mice before birth, or over time led to a range of behaviors very similar to ADHD. Some of the neurological problems also echoed many of the symptoms seen in Gulf War syndrome.

    "There have been anecdotal links made between rises in ADHD, Parkinson's disease and other disorders and exposure to pesticides," said Barlow, an adjunct faculty member at the Salk. "There also has been suspicion of a link to Gulf War syndrome. But scientists have been focusing on enzymes that act on acetylcholine neurotransmitters. This study shows that there may indeed be a genetic connection that explains how organophosphates can cause these reactions; it's just not what we assumed it would be."

    Barlow's group had originally been looking at how environmental factors immediately affect the nervous system. They found that mice bred to lack the NTE gene died before birth. But the group also found that mice with only one copy of the NTE gene, when exposed to experimental organophosphates and examined over a prolonged period, exhibited behavior similar to ADHD.

    The mice with only one NTE copy had a 40 percent decrease in the NTE enzyme produced by the NTE gene. The mice with normal NTE genes also showed ADHD-like behavior, though to a lesser degree, when exposed to organophosphates. The gene is active in parts of the brain controlling movement, including the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the spinal cord.

    "NTE is a large gene," said Barlow. "It's possible that we all have slightly different forms of the NTE enzyme, which may explain why some may get ADHD when they're exposed at young ages, and why some may get Gulf War syndrome at a later age, or why some of us have no symptoms at all. It appears to be a case of delayed toxicity, inhibiting the function of NTE."

    At the Salk, researcher Matthew Hemming in Professor Stephen Heinemann's laboratory is continuing to work on unlocking the secrets of NTE's activity. The Salk team is working to detail how losing NTE function results in behavioral and neurological changes, as well as focusing on what happens when the gene for NTE is turned off in one part of the brain, but working in other areas.

    The Gulf War syndrome is a loosely defined collection of symptoms, ranging from headache and fever to severe forgetfulness and movement disorders. It was first noted after Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 1991, when U.S., Canadian and British military veterans reported more symptoms than soldiers who were not deployed. Its cause is unknown.

    The researchers are supported by a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Barlow's colleagues on the project include Christopher Winrow, Duane Allen, and, Gary Quistad and John Casida of the University of California, Berkeley.

    The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. The institute was founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, M.D., with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2003]

    [This Message was Edited on 03/21/2003]
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Very Interesting. I find it especially interesting that the Dept. of Defense is funding research into genetic research for linking GWI to a genetic predisposition and pesticides. The mycoplasmas, which are found in such a large percent of people with GWI, CFS, FMS, MS, Lupus, and possibly ADHD and Parkinson's were developed and patented by a researcher with ties to the Dept. of Defense. The DOD and VA have for years stonewalled any military connection and refused to fund research into the mycoplasma theory. Suddenly, they are ready to junp on the genetic bandwagon.

    I'm all for whatever research will shed light on our illnesses. I have always maintained that, at least for the majority of us, there is a genetic connection. I have also maintained that our illness are neurological and related to a whole host of other neurological disorders. I just question the DOD's sudden interest out of the goodness of their hearts. Something stinks!

    Love, Mikie
  3. Fibromiester

    Fibromiester New Member

    I agree, Mikie. I am open as to where my FM and host of other related DD's- came from...My Mom's FM & CFS? Ft. Dix & Viet Nam Boyfriend? 1975-Accident? etc.
    And my son came out kicking! Siezures until 6 months, ADHD from day 1, LD, and Tourette's.
    I also have Familial Tremors & Restless Leg Syndrome, which are in the same Family as Parkinson's and Tourette's...
    All related somehow, and yet I can't seem to put a finger on it!
  4. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    The genetic factor is what I find most interesting. It might lead tyo solving the problem with related illnesses such as FMS

  5. kellbear

    kellbear New Member

    Thanks for the post. Interesting, I was diagnosed with Adult ADD last year. I never thought that this was my whole problem but since my greatest symptoms last year were fatigue, brain fogg, and lack of concentration - they thought it was ADD. I dont have the "H" part in ADHD
  6. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    I have the ADD without the H too. I'm taking treatment with Ritalin and buspar and it's helping.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    People who must take stimulants like Ritalin get relief in the short term, but according to Dr. Cheney, it can cause brain damage in the long term if seizure activity is present. His article here in our Library on Klonopin does an excellent job of explaining our slight state of seizure and how it affects sleep, RLS, anxiety and sensory overload. He has another sister article on SSRI's and stimulants. It's kind of like damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Bob, I hope you didn't misunderstand me. I think genetic research into our illnesses is looooooong overdue. I just think the DOD is looking for a genetic predisposition to take the heat off of their transgressions over the years. We may be genetically predisposed, and I think we are, coming from a whole family with this stuff, but it was the government's mycoplasma that triggered my illnesses. Would something else eventually have triggered them full blown? Who knows. Probably, but I might have had a lot more years of decent health in the meantime.

    Love, Mikie