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Banned Pesticide DDT Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Epidemiological studies have found connections between Alzheimer’s disease and exposure to pesticides in general, but The Huffington Post reports on a new study in JAMA Neurology that has shown a link between the disease and a more specific pesticide: dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). DDT was banned in the United States in 1972 but it can still show up in the blood stream as the metabolic byproduct, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE). Researchers took blood samples of Alzheimer’s patients and people without Alzheimer’s and found that “the levels of DDE were much higher among those with Alzheimer’s — 3.8 times higher, on average.” The results highlight the important role that environmental factors may play in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and point to pesticides, linked to several other diseases as well, as a key contributor.

Read it in The Huffington Post.

Read the study in JAMA Neurology.