Cancer and blood concentrations of the comutagen harmane in essential tremor

Louis, Elan D.; Pellegrino, Kathryn M.; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Jiang, Wendy; Rios, Eileen; Henchcliffe, Claire; Zheng, Wei

Blood concentrations of harmane, a tremor-producing neurotoxin, are elevated in essential tremor (ET). Harmane is also a comutagen. Using a case-control design, we compared the prevalence of cancer in ET cases vs. controls, and determined whether blood harmane concentrations are elevated among ET cases with cancer. 66/267 (24.7%) ET cases vs. 55/331 (16.6%) controls had cancer (adjusted OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01 — 2.30, P = 0.04). Among specific cancer types, colon cancer was more prevalent in ET cases than controls (2.6% vs. 0.6%, P = 0.04). Log blood harmane concentration was higher in ET cases vs. controls (P = 0.02) and in participants with vs. without cancer (P = 0.02). Log blood harmane concentration was highest in ET cases with cancer when compared with other groups (P = 0.009). These links between cancer and ET and between high blood harmane and cancer in ET deserve further study.



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Movement Disorders

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Academic Units
Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Published Here
December 10, 2013