Whooping cough and Parkinson's disease. The Europarkinson Preparatory Activity Research Group.
Int J Epidemiol. 1996 Dec;25(6):1301-11. PMID: 9027539
Department of Applied Epidemiology, National Care for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Madrid, Spain.
BACKGROUND: We reported high levodopa use and prevalences of Parkinson's Disease (PD) in periodically, time-clustered, icelandic cohorts born after major whooping cough epidemics (MWCE). METHODS: In order to quantify a possible relationship between age at first post-birth MWCE and risk of PD we: 1) calculated cumulative incidences of PD during the period 1954-1963 in one-year Icelandic cohorts born between 1869 and 1927, using raw material from a reported survey; 2) identified MWCE from 1869 onwards in Iceland; 3) estimated cohort ages at onset of incidence period and at first MWCE; and 4) combined the above-mentioned information using log-linear models. In addition, we studied the prevalence of levodopa users in Icelandic birth cohorts during a recent period. RESULTS: The curves of the above-mentioned incidences and prevalences in one-year birth-cohorts showed: 1) a similar, age-related, inverted V profile; and 2) a systematic notchy pattern, with peak values for one or both measurements for cohorts born during or after each of nine MWCE identified during the period 1869-1927. When 13 cohorts born in years with MWCE were excluded from the analysis, the risk of PD rose with age at first defined MWCE, with the linear increase being 8.4% per year (95% CI: -0.1-18.3%). CONCLUSIONS: These results are consistent with reported effects of age at exposure in animal models of toxic parkinsonism, age-related changes in the dopamine receptor-GPT-binding protein-adenylatecyclase system observed in rats treated with pertussis toxin, and some PD epidemiological features. They suggest that pertussis neurotoxicity could be casually treated to PD worldwide.