Department of Epidemiology
Institut Pasteur de Bangui
Research interests for Freya Kamel, Ph.D., focus on environmental determinants of neurologic dysfunction and disease, in particular, neurodegenerative disease. Kamel and her colleagues conducted a case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, to study the role of exposure to lead and other neurotoxicants in this disease (Kamel et al., 2002). Occupational exposure to lead was associated with a two-fold increase in ALS risk. Both blood and bone lead levels were also elevated in ALS cases compared to population controls. However, neither residential nor recreational exposure to lead was related to ALS. Analyses of the role of genetic susceptibility suggested that polymorphisms in the gene for ?-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase were associated with increased risk of ALS (Kamel et al., 2003). Thus, both genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental neurotoxicants increase risk of ALS.
The FAME Study examines the relationship between Parkinson's disease and exposure to pesticides, other neurotoxicants and soil pathogens.
Kamel F, Umbach DM, Lehman TA, Park LP, Munsat TL, Shefner JM, Sandler DP, Hu H, Taylor JA. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, lead, and genetic susceptibility: polymorphisms in the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase and vitamin D receptor genes. Environ Health Perspect 111: 1335-9, 2003.
Kamel F, Umbach DM, Munsat TL, Shefner JM, Hu H, and Sandler DP. Lead exposure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Epidemiology 13:311-319, 2002.