06/06/2007

Study Finds Pesticides Increase Parkinson's Risk

Exposure to pesticides and traumatic head injury may increase the risk for
Parkinson's disease, according a study.

Additionally, the risk of developing Parkinson's disease increases according to
the level of exposure, the results showed. The findings were published on May
30 in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine (article is titled
"Environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism: the
Geoparkinson study").

The two risk factors are potentially modifiable, the authors say. Head trauma
resulting from contact sports such as boxing can be avoided, and further
research could identify more specifically which pesticides are associated with
this effect, so that these agents can be substituted.

People who had been exposed to low levels of pesticides were found to be 1.13
times as likely to have Parkinson's disease compared with those who had never
been exposed. Those who had been exposed to high levels of pesticides were 1.41
times as likely to be affected.

Parkinson's disease occurred 1.35 times more frequently in people who had been
knocked unconscious once compared with those who had never been knocked out,
and arose 2.53 times more frequently in those who had been knocked out more
frequently.

The European Commission funded study is one of the largest case-control studies
to date of genetic, environmental and occupational risk factors for Parkinson's
disease or other degenerative parkinsonian syndromes. The research involved 959
prevalent cases of parkinsonism (767 with Parkinson's disease) and 1989
controls recruited in Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Romania and Malta.

Cases were defined using the United Kingdom Parkinson's Disease Society Brain
Bank criteria. Patients with drug-induced or vascular parkinsonism or dementia
were excluded.

Subjects completed a questionnaire regarding their lifetime occupational and
recreational exposure to solvents, pesticides, iron, copper and manganese.
Their lifetime exposure was then estimated blind to disease status and the
results were adjusted, as appropriate, for age, sex, country of residence,
tobacco use, ever having been knocked unconscious and family history of
Parkinson's disease.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection