Pesticides Linked to Parkinson’s Disease?

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Gardeners beware. Researchers warn that products you might use in your yard can increase your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative nerve disorder whose most common symptoms are shaking, rigidity and slowed movements. A new study in the journal Neurology is the latest to name pesticide as a culprit.
The analysis of 104 studies from around the world shows that exposure to pesticides, bud and weed killers and solvents increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 33 to 80 percent. Exposure to the weed killer paraquat, or the fungicides maneb or mancozeb was associated with a two-fold risk of getting the disease. On the other hand, DDT — the most frequently used insecticide around the world — was not associated with any significant risk.

Additionally, according to the analysis, the risk for Parkinson’s appears to increase as duration of exposure increases.

Another explanation, the authors note, is that there may be a gene-environment interaction; some people may be genetically pre-disposed to be affected by pesticides.

The authors, however, advise this meta-analysis be considered with caution, and call the evidence “limited, or at least inconclusive.  According to MedPage Today, the authors point to a lack of agreement between cohort and case-control studies.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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