Tags: links to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's | sunscreens | sun

Sunscreens May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009 09:24 AM

Millions of Americans use sunscreen regularly to protect their skin against the sun’s damaging rays. But a chilling possibility that the same sunscreens used to protect skin from cancer could possibly cause Alzheimer’s disease is being investigated by scientists from the University of Ulster.

The European Union has awarded ?350,000 to two experts from the University of Ulster to explore possible links between sunscreens and the brain disease. They will look at whether nanoparticles present in the chemicals used in sunscreens can cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“There is now firm evidence that some engineered nanoparticles entering intravenously or via lungs can reach the brains of small animals,” said Professor Vyvyan Howard who along with Dr. Christian Holscher, is leading the research. The nanoparticles, he said, “can have highly significant impacts on the rate of misfolding of key proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Indeed they lodge in almost all parts of the brain and there are no efficient clearance mechanisms to remove them once there,” he said.

“The brain is a very special organ,” he said. “It cannot repair by replacing nerve cells. The ones you get at birth have to last all your life, which makes them peculiarly vulnerable to long term low dose toxicity.”

Two of the nanoparticles under suspicion are titanium dioxide (used in products from paints to sunscreens, cosmetics and food coloring) and cerium oxide (used in cosmetics, to polish glass, and in the walls of self-cleaning ovens). The research project will last three years and is part of a world-wide project called NeuroNano.

© HealthDay

 
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Millions of Americans use sunscreen regularly to protect their skin against the sun’s damaging rays. But a chilling possibility that the same sunscreens used to protect skin from cancer could possibly cause Alzheimer’s disease is being investigated by scientists from the University of Ulster.
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2009-24-26
Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009 09:24 AM
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