Pesticides, Parkinson's disease linked

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Pesticides, Parkinson's disease linked

Post  jesuitsdidit2 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:39 pm

Pesticides, Parkinson's disease linked
Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:57PM

Exposure to two types of common pesticides, rotenone and paraquat, may place individuals at a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a US study reveals.

A team of researchers studied 110 people with Parkinson's disease and 358 matched controls from the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) Study.

Their findings showed that people who had used rotenone and paraquat are 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease in the long run.

The two toxic chemicals have not been approved for house or garden use. Paraquat use has long been restricted to certified applicators, largely due to concerns based on studies of animal models linking its use to Parkinson's disease. However, rotenone is only allowed to be used for killing invasive fish species.

"Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria, the structure responsible for making energy in the cell," said study co-author Freya Kamel from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

"Paraquat increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures. People who used these pesticides or others with a similar mechanism of action were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease," he added.

"These findings help us to understand the biologic changes underlying Parkinson's disease. This may have important implications for the treatment and ultimately the prevention of Parkinson's disease," said lead researcher Caroline Tanner, clinical research director of the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center.

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