Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs motor skills, speech and other functions. Scientists know that in animal models and cell cultures, pesticides (the fungicide maneb and the herbicide paraquat) used to protect crops like potatoes, dry beans and tomatoes can trigger a neurodegenerative process that leads to Parkinson’s disease. Now, researchers at UCLA provide the first evidence for a similar process in humans.
Reported in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, a new epidemiological study of Central Valley residents who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease found that years of exposure to the combination of these two pesticides increased the risk of Parkinson’s by 75 percent. Studies showed that Central Valley residents who lived within 500 meters of fields sprayed between 1974 and 1999 had a 75-percent increased risk for Parkinson’s. Further, for people 60 years old or younger diagnosed with Parkinson’s, earlier exposure had increased their risk for the disease by as much as four- to six-fold.
For more information, please read the full article here.
Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC