(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2007) Adding to the weight of the evidence tying pesticide use to Parkinsonâ€™s disease, a study by University of Aberdeen researchers has found that pesticide exposure increases the likelihood of developing the disease. The researchers also found that the risk factor for developing Parkinsonâ€™s increases with high levels of pesticide exposure.
The European Commission funded study indicates that both pesticides and traumatic head injury play a causative role in Parkinsonâ€™s disease. The researchers found that exposure to low levels of pesticides increases the likelihood of being affected by the disease by 1.09 times compared to those with no reported exposure. Those exposed to high levels of pesticides were 1.39 times more likely to develop the disease.
The study is one of the largest conducted to date of genetic, environmental and occupational risk factors for Parkinsonâ€™s disease and other degenerative parkinsonian syndromes. The researchers identified 959 cases of parkinsonism, 767 of which are diagnosed with Parkinsonâ€™s, and 1,989 control cases in Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Romania and Malta. Data on exposure was self-reported by the subjects.
The results further compound previous studies suggesting a link between pesticides and Parkinsonâ€™s. Several recent findings have also revealed mechanisms that help to explain exactly how pesticide exposure and parkinsonian syndromes are related at the cellular level.
Source: University of Aberdeen