Environmental Causes of Parkinsons Disease

Up until this point, researchers have not been able to link any specific herbicide or pesticide component to the disease. Still, current research would indicate that those with extended exposure to certain herbicides and pesticides are more likely to develop Parkinson’s than people who don’t have this same level of exposure.

Researchers have also found a genetic variance that appears to make people more likely to develop Parkinson’s if they are exposed to certain pesticides. One moderately strong and consistent discovery of research is that the risk of Parkinson’s is increased by rural living, exposure to well or ground water, and agricultural work, suggesting that pesticides or herbicides may play a part in development of Parkinson’s.

The normal CYP2D6 gene makes an enzyme that helps break-down pesticides, making them less toxic to the body, but one variation of this gene produces an enzyme that is not as effective on pesticides, causing an increase in the bodys sensitivity to pesticides and a resulting increase in the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. On the other hand, people having this genetic variation have no increased risk of developing Parkinson’s if they are not exposed to pesticides.

Additionally, exposure to certain toxic substances, such as manganese and carbon monoxide, has also been linked to Parkinsons. It is now thought that the effects of these toxins may build up in the body, over many years or decades, eventually leading to the development of Parkinsons.

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