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Neurologia. 2014 Nov-Dec;29(9):541-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease: environmental risk factors.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, España. Electronic address: 33357jcf@Comb.Cat.



The purpose of this review is to update and summarise available evidence on environmental risk factors that have been associated with risk of Parkinson disease (PD) or Alzheimer disease (AD) and discuss their potential mechanisms.


Evidence consistently suggests that a higher risk of PD is associated with pesticides and that a higher risk of AD is associated with pesticides, hypertension and high cholesterol levels in middle age, hyperhomocysteinaemia, smoking, traumatic brain injury and depression. There is weak evidence suggesting that higher risk of PD is associated with high milk consumption in men, high iron intake, chronic anaemia and traumatic brain injury. Weak evidence also suggests that a higher risk of AD is associated with high aluminium intake through drinking water, excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields from electrical grids, DM and hyperinsulinaemia, obesity in middle age, excessive alcohol consumption and chronic anaemia. Evidence consistently suggests that a lower risk of PD is associated with hyperuricaemia, tobacco and coffee use, while a lower risk of AD is associated with moderate alcohol consumption, physical exercise, perimenopausal hormone replacement therapy and good cognitive reserve. Weak evidence suggests that lower risk of PD is associated with increased vitamin E intake, alcohol, tea, NSAIDs, and vigorous physical exercise, and that lower risk of AD is associated with the Mediterranean diet, coffee and habitual NSAID consumption.


Several environmental factors contribute significantly to risk of PD and AD. Some may already be active in the early stages of life, and some may interact with other genetic factors. Population-based strategies to modify such factors could potentially result in fewer cases of PD or AD.


Alzheimer disease; Enfermedad de Alzheimer; Enfermedad de Parkinson; Environmental risk factors; Environmental toxins. Parkinson disease; Factores de riesgo ambientales; Factores protectores; Interacción; Interaction; Protective factors; Tóxicos ambientales

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