Two years ago, I was given an abstract for this study:
Wangensteen, Kirk J. MD, PhD*; Krawitt, Edward L. MD†; Hamill, Robert W. MD‡; Boyd, James T. MD‡
Clinical Neuropharmacology: January/February 2016 – Volume 39 – Issue 1 – p 1–5
The full text is not free to read but librarians can get a copy for you. Veterans’ representatives like Alex can probably obtain a copy for their veterans’ health topics files by emailing Dr. Boyd (UVMMC-VT).
This work has not received enough attention in the form of citations and shares (LINK) but in general we now know that not only does HCV injure the central nervous system (CNS-brain and spinal cord), but the interferons to kill the viral devils cause damage too.
So, if a Marine served in Vietnam (eating Agent Orange), and was infected with HCV (non-A-non-B) in any myriad number of routes, and drank Camp Lejeune’s toxic water, and was later treated for a year with interferons, PD and it’s closely related conditions, are not something that some physicians link together–because they don’t know. Just one exposure is enough to cause PD, but in the case I list above, you have a powerful triple whammy + 1 (the cure) hit. Additional toxic exposures are also likely.
I’ve never seen a new patient intake form ask about military service in the non-VA world. (Have you?) Problem lists can be a mess but verified service in Vietnam should be noted on them as a separate line! (I say verified because people like Sen. Richard Blumenthal might lie on forms about their military service.)
Interferons are a set of cytokines that activate antiviral responses by the body’s immune cells and have been a mainstay of treatment of hepatitis C. Well-known neuropsychiatric effects of interferons include depression, irritability, and impaired concentration. A condition reported rarely in association with this treatment is parkinsonism.
We report 2 patients who developed parkinsonism in conjunction with treatment of hepatitis C with alpha interferons. The first is a 51-year-old man who developed intermittent rest and postural tremor during treatment with pegylated interferon alpha ribavirin, and amantadine, with resolution of the symptoms after completing a 36-week course. Similar tremor recurred 3 years later with progressive parkinsonism, compatible with Parkinson disease (PD).
The second patient is a 71-year-old man who developed postural tremor 8 weeks into a regimen of consensus interferon. Tremor resolved at completion of 48 weeks of interferon. Pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin were started 2 years later because of lack of sustained virologic response. At 24 weeks of treatment, postural tremor returned along with features and a progressive course compatible with PD.
Thus, both patients presented here developed (rest and/or postural) tremor during interferontherapy followed by delayed onset of parkinsonism. We identified 10 other cases in the literature of parkinsonism/PD associated with interferon administration. This report reviews the clinical presentation and potential pathophysiological mechanisms and recommends that physicians who prescribe interferon be vigilant for symptoms of PD in their patients.
Toxins and more toxins
Gulf War vets are getting cancers. I’ve met one who had a tumor removed from his neck. He’s able to work as a policeman but he’s worried about his future. My son recently met a young former airman from CT in the waiting area at WRJ-VT VA hospital. He served in the Gulf. He had an unusual cancer from toxic exposures and is 100% disabled. An aside: This vet’s free ride service had stranded him there because he was late getting out of his appointment. He sobbed. My son told him that he couldn’t drive him to CT that night but he wished he could. Then the VA arranged to put him up in a hotel overnight.
Serum metals tests?
Global metal mining pollution is terrible. We recycle every bit of aluminum we use. In MN we sold odd bits of metal to scrap yards so it could be reused. The Chinese export their cheap aluminum in their products and they don’t care about the health of their workers. We shouldn’t buy cheap things made with Chinese metals if possible. Buying things made of recycled aluminum is controversial (Treehugger article link) because the demand for virgin aluminum is goes up. I still strongly support recycling metals, keeping batteries out of landfills, and anything that will reduce toxic chemicals exposures. As for routine serum metals tests, some powerful groups don’t want us to know what’s swirling around inside. Expect to pay out-of-pocket.
Kiedove (Guest Author)
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