Pesticides and Solvents Linked to Parkinson’s Disease; Farmers at Highest Risk
More than 10 years ago, preliminary research suggested that exposure to pesticides or solvents may be a risk factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. A study last year reached the same conclusion. Recently, a new study published in Neurology®, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology concluded that exposure to pesticides or solvents is a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Emanuele Cereda, of the IRCCS University Hospital San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, and his coauthor pulled data for 104 studies that were published between 1975 and 2011 and examined the link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. The results showed that people exposed to pesticides have between a 33 to 80 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Certain pesticides, such as the plant killer paraquat and fungus killers maneb, or mancozeb, were tied to a doubling of Parkinson’s disease risk. Rural farmers may be the most at risk. In a press release, Dr. Cereda said “there was […] a link between farming or country living and developing Parkinson’s in some of the studies[.]”
The primary symptom of Parkinson’s disease is impairment of motor function including shaking, loss of balance and stiffness. Other symptoms include sleep disorders, drowsiness, vivid dreams, excessive sweating, impaired sense of smell, constipation, and depression.
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