Results of a new study find that long term exposure to pesticides can effectively double your risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Currently in the US over 1 million people are estimated to be living with the degenerative brain disorder which is believed to be brought about by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The study featured a survey of more than 300 Parkinson’s patients who filled out a questionnaire pertaining to their exposure to pesticides.
There answers were compared to family members who did not have the disease, allowing the researchers to learn that the more exposure to pesticides that was experienced, the greater the risk of a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
“Previous studies have shown that individuals with Parkinson’s disease are over twice as likely to report being exposed to pesticides as unaffected individuals, but few studies have looked at this association in people from the same family or have assessed associations between specific classes of pesticides and Parkinson’s disease,” study author Dana Hancock from the Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, wrote in the study.
“What we noticed in our research was that recreational pesticide use in the home and garden was more of a source of exposure than occupational use,” they added.
The study is published online in the open-access journal BMC Neurology.