View The Document

Accession Number:



Airborne Pollutants as Triggers of Parkinson's Disease via the Olfactory System


Author Organization(s):

Report Date:



In this project, we proposed to examine the role of air pollutants in olfactory impairment in older adults and to investigate their potential relevance to the prodromal development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Specifically, we proposed to investigate 1) the association of long-term exposures to air pollutants with olfactory impairment; 2) the association of PD polygenic risk score with olfactory impairment and potential effect modification by air pollutants; and 3) the association of lifetime uses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with olfactory impairment and potential effect modification by air pollutants. The project leveraged ten years of extensive data collection on environmental exposures, medical history, and biospecimen from the well-established National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Sister Study. We selected a total of 4,020 participants from the Sister Study and enrolled 3,535 (87.9 percent). Of these, 3,431 (97.1 percent) took the Brief Smell Identification Test, and 3,358 (95.0 percent) have valid genomic data. Based on these data, we estimated that 13.3 percent of the Sister Study participants have an olfactory impairment, and the prevalence increases with age and is higher in blacks than whites. The self awareness of this sensory deficit is low, particularly among blacks. As expected, olfactory impairment was associated with 7-8 fold higher odds of having PD. Overall, higher exposures to the air pollutants of fine particulate matters and nitrogen dioxide were not associated with olfactory impairment. However, secondary analyses suggest possible associations among younger participants and smokers. In the study of genetic data, we confirmed the strong association of PD polygenic risk score with the disease. The highest quartile of this polygenic risk score was also associated with higher odds of having an olfactory impairment.



File Size:





Distribution Statement:

Approved For Public Release

View The Document