Parkinson’s Disease and Solvent Exposure

Parkinson’s & Parkinsonism

Parkinson’s Disease and Solvent Exposure

Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism affect the central nervous system and cause daily functions to become challenging or even impossible. The dangerous effects on the central nervous system can produce lifelong debilitating and deadly problems.

While causes vary, exposure to chemicals and industrial solvents can lead to these neurological issues. Automotive painters, steamfitters, and welders are just some of the workers who may be affected.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism and was exposed to dangerous solvents or welding rods, please contact us today. Don’t let time limit your rights. There is no obligation to have your case reviewed by one of our attorneys.

Parkinson’s and parkinsonism
What is Parkinson’s? How does it relate to parkinsonism? Learn more about this neurodegenerative disease.
Welding Rods: Manganese Exposure & Manganism
Welding rod fumes can cause serious and detrimental health effects in welders. Manganese exposure in welders has been linked to a Parkinson’s like disease known as manganism. Learn more.
Solvent Exposure
Steamfitters, welders and automotive technicians may be at risk of developing Parkinsons as a result of chemical exposures. The occupational and industrial use of chemicals such as toluene, xylene, n-hexane, trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) may be linked to the development of Parkinson’s. Learn more.

 

Treatment

Parkinson’s disease is incurable, but several methods exist to alleviate symptoms. Medications can dramatically assist in the control of the symptoms with surgery advised in more progressed cases. Lifestyle changes, including physical therapy focusing on balance, stretching and aerobic classes may aid the body.

 

Early treatment includes levopoda and dopamine agonists, meant to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. The dopamine agonist activates dopamine receptors, allowing the pathways to send messages. The longer the disease is present, the less effective these methods become and cause dyskinesia, a movement disorder where muscles move involuntarily.

 

Special Medications

Carbidopa-levodopa
A natural chemical, levodopa enters the brain and is converted into dopamine. Combining it with carbidopa, a peripheral metabolism inhibitor, protects it from becoming dopamine before it reaches the brain and can lessen or prevent certain side effects, including nausea. As the disease progresses, the chemical becomes less stable and it may wear off or cause dyskinesia.
Dopamine agonist
A dopamine agonist will mimic the effects of dopamine on the brain and last longer than levodopa. Because they aren’t as effective as other treatments, agonists may be combined with levodopa to reduced the on-again-off-again effect.
Anticholinergics
Due to the side effects, including impaired memory and hallucinations, these medications aren’t used in the same capacity. Anticholinergics can help control the tremor.
MAO-B Inhibitors
These inhibitors, including selegiline and rasagiline prevent the breakdown of dopamine in the brain by inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase, or MAO-B.
Amantadine
Amantadine is typically prescribed during early-stage Parkinson’s to temporarily relieve mild symptoms. Later it may be given with carbidopa-levodopa to control dyskinesia.
Catechol O-methyltrasferase (COMT) inhibitors
By blocking the enzyme that breaks down the dopamine, COMT inhibitors can prolong the levodopa effects for a brief time.

 

Surgery Options

Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
As levodopa becomes less effective, doctors may suggest DBS to stabilize the fluctuations with the medications, reduce dyskenisia, tremor and rigidity while slowing movements. The procedure involves planting electrodes into the brain that are connected to a generator implanted in the chest near the collarbone. This sends pulses to the brain to reduce Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

 

More Information

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