Salmon and smoked mackerel brandade with potatoes and cress dressing
This refreshing omega-3 rich recipe combines fish and vegetables
2 days ago
Ireland survey aims to uncover link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease
Previous studies of vineyard and agricultural workers in France and the US highlight potential correlations between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s risk. Now, a team is conducting the first study in Ireland to investigate this potential link. Last week, researchers from University College Cork, Ireland, took to the country’s National Ploughing Championships – a three-day country show, agricultural trade fair and ploughing competition. Their goal? To “gather information on the environmental risks associated with Parkinson’s in Ireland”, according to Professor Aideen Sullivan of the university’s Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. “Our survey is a broad-stroke approach. We are going to ask people what categories of pesticides they’ve used,” said Sullivan’s colleague, Dr Lucy Collins-Stack. “We are going into this thinking there may be a stronger link with rural settings rather than towns, but we still want to look at both.” The survey can be completed online.
Is there a link between Parkinson’s disease and blood vessel dysfunction?
Scientists in Slovakia have investigated the link between blood vessel dysfunction and Parkinson’s – and found that dopamine agonists may have an impact. The team studied the function of the endothelium – a membrane which lines the heart and blood vessels and helps control blood fluidity – in 41 people with the condition and 41 people without. Endothelial function was then measured through a parameter that assessed how easily blood could flow through the vessels. The results showed that while more people with Parkinson’s had endothelial dysfunction compared to those without, the difference did not reach statistical significance. However, the researchers noted that the findings suggested “an association between smoking, dopamine agonists, and impaired endothelial function” in those with the condition. Outlining the study’s limitations, the team noted that more research is needed to explore this potential link.
New swab test may help with Parkinson’s disease diagnosis
Researchers at the University of Manchester, UK, have drawn on one woman’s sense of smell to develop a swab test that may be used to detect Parkinson’s. The scientists used the test to analyse sebum (a type of oily substance on the skin) in 79 people with Parkinson’s and a control group of 71 healthy individuals. The team identified more than 4,000 different compounds in the participant samples – including 500 that were unique to those living with the condition. The test was developed with the help of Joy Milne from Perth, Scotland, whose unique sense of smell meant that she noticed a change in her late husband Les’s odour twelve years before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Speaking to the BBC, Professor Perdita Barran, who led the research, described the test as potentially “transformative” – and said that the team hopes to roll the test out to people in…