Progress and Prospects in Parkinson's Research/Causes/Toxins/Cadmium

Background edit

Cadmium is a chemical element (symbol Cd) with an atomic number of of 48. It is extracted for industrial purposes from lead ore. It was discovered in 1817.

Its uses include:-

  • battery manufacture;
  • as a pigment;
  • solar panels;
  • electroplating;
  • nuclear fission.

Cadmium does not have a known role in human metabolism and is not therefore associated with any deficiency diseases.

Exposure to excessive cadmium can induce renal failure, initially in metal fume fever, chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary oedema. These conditions can be fatal. Post-menopausal women seem particularly susceptible to cadmium toxicity.

Research edit


Okuda et al [1] describe the case of a 64 year old man, who experienced Parkinsonism following acute exposure to cadmium.


Tvermoes et al [2] evaluated the effects of cadmium on under non-cytotoxic and cytotoxic conditions. They observed that Cadmium affects the expression of hundreds of functionally unrelated genes, by activating multiple signal transduction pathways, but it may also influence the gene expression of second messengers, such as calcium.

Further Reading edit


Levin, Pamela R. Voice of the Environment .

Heavy Metal Toxicity:Testing.

Search the scientific literature (Cadmium)

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Related Pages edit

Causes > Toxins

Sub Pages:

Cadmium - Copper - Dieldrin - Manganese - Maneb - Mercury - MPTP - n-Hexane - Paraquat - Rotenone - Toluene - Trichloroethylene - Ziram

References edit

  1. Okuda, B.; Iwamoto, Y.; Tachibana, H. and Sugita, M.(1997)Clin. Neurol. Neurosurg. 99 (4) 263-265. Parkinsonism after acute cadmium poisoning.
  2. Tvermoes, Brooke E.;Bird, Gary,S. and Freedman, Jonathan (2011) PLoS One 6 (6), Cadmium Induces Transcription Independently of Intracellular Calcium Mobilization