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Parkinsons Disease

Home and Garden Pesticides Increase Parkinsons Risk

19 years, 3 months ago

5743  0
Posted on Oct 04, 2002, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Lorene Nelson, PhD, a neuroepidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues report that pesticide use in the home and garden increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The researchers interviewed 496 people who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and 541 people without the disease, covering lifetime insecticide, herbicide, fungicide use, exposure and frequency.

Lorene Nelson, PhD, a neuroepidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues report that pesticide use in the home and garden increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The researchers interviewed 496 people who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and 541 people without the disease, covering lifetime insecticide, herbicide, fungicide use, exposure and frequency. Researchers found that people who had been exposed to pesticides were approximately two times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than people not exposed to pesticides. In-home exposure to insecticides carried the highest risk of developing the disease -- Parkinson's patients were more than twice as likely to have been exposed to insecticides in the home than those without the disease. Past exposure to herbicides was also associated with the disease, whereas exposure to insecticides and fungicides in the garden were not found to be risk factors. Researchers suspect that damage to nerve cells in the substantia nigra part of the brain, resulting from exposure to chemicals that can accumulate in this area, may cause movement difficulties characteristic of Parkinson's disease. While researchers are cautious to point out that they cannot issue specific guidelines regarding avoidance of pesticides, they underscore the importance of pesticide use as a public health issue.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: American Academy of Neurology's 52nd annual meeting, May 2000

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