What You Need To Know About Paraquat Poisoning And Parkinsons
by Jordon Harlan | Mar 29, 2021
Have you been exposed to paraquat? The experienced legal team at Harlan Law is now accepting cases of paraquat users who have developed Parkinsons disease nationwide. Call 870-0802 now for your FREE consultation.
Paraquat is a toxic chemical commonly used as a herbicide to kill weeds and control grass. Although paraquat was developed as a chemical over 100 years ago, it only became commonly used as a herbicide in 1961.
Since then, paraquat continues to be used around the world. But the chemical is so dangerous that the United States has restricted its use to commercially licensed users only. China began phasing out paraquat use in 2012 to safeguard the lives of agricultural workers. England and the European Union have included paraquat on their banned substances list since 2007.
Paraquat is so poisonous that in the U.S. the liquid form contains a blue dye, a sharp odor, and a vomiting agent in case someone swallows it. A single spoonful could kill the average person. If consumed, paraquat can quickly cause dramatic symptoms within hours to days including heart, kidney, or liver failure. If inhaled, it can cause lung scarring. Paraquat can even cause injury if it comes in contact with exposed skin during application.
Do Symptoms Get Worse
PD does not affect everyone the same way. The rate of progression and the particular symptoms differ among individuals.
PD symptoms typically begin on one side of the body. However, the disease eventually affects both sides, although symptoms are often less severe on one side than on the other.
Early symptoms of PD may be subtle and occur gradually. Affected people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of a chair. Activities may take longer to complete than in the past. Muscles stiffen and movement may be slower. The persons face may lack expression and animation . People may notice that they speak too softly or with hesitation, or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small. This very early period may last a long time before the more classical and obvious motor symptoms appear.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may begin to interfere with daily activities. Affected individuals may not be able to hold utensils steady or they may find that the shaking makes reading a newspaper difficult.
People with PD often develop a so-called parkinsonian gait that includes a tendency to lean forward, taking small quick steps as if hurrying , and reduced swinging in one or both arms. They may have trouble initiating movement , and they may stop suddenly as they walk .
The Power Of Deep Brain Stimulation Penn State Hershey Medical Center
A treatment called deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has been used for more than a decade at Penn State Hershey to help patients with a range of disorders to control their muscular symptoms. In this story, we meet two brothers who share similar diagnoses and who both underwent DBS with hopes of getting their lives back.
DBS uses an electrical current to mimic the damage surgeons used to purposefully create but without actually destroying anything. Once implanted, doctors can control the stimulator with an external device that adjusts voltage, amplitude, frequency and location of stimulation. We can turn it up, so if someones symptoms worsen, we can respond to that, McInerney said.
While DBS is not the first line of treatment for Parkinsons, once begun, patients no longer need to rely solely on medications. It works better because it is on all the time and it doesnt cycle on and off the way medications do, McInerney said. And it typically doesnt produce side effects.
DBS has also proven effective for treating other disorders. It is FDA approved for use with essential tremors, dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Outside the United States, it is used as a tool for controlling seizures, obesity, addiction, pain and depression.
From 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, Dr. James McInerney and Dr. Nicholas Brandmeir of Penn State Hershey will be available to discuss DBS as a treatment for Parkinsons disease and essential tremor in a live webchat on abc27.com.
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Parkinsons Disease Is A Progressive Disorder
Parkinsons Disease is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects movement and, in some cases, cognition. Individuals with PD may have a slightly shorter life span compared to healthy individuals of the same age group. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research, patients usually begin developing Parkinsons symptoms around age 60. Many people with PD live between 10 and 20 years after being diagnosed. However, a patients age and general health status factor into the accuracy of this estimate.
While there is no cure for Parkinsons disease, many patients are only mildly affected and need no treatment for several years after their initial diagnosis. However, PD is both chronic, meaning it persists over a long period of time, and progressive, meaning its symptoms grow worse over time. This progression occurs more quickly in some people than in others.
Pharmaceutical and surgical interventions can help manage some of the symptoms, like bradykinesia , rigidity or tremor , but not much can be done to slow the overall progression of the disease. Over time, shaking, which affects most PD patients, may begin to interfere with daily activities and ones quality of life.
Does Paraquat Cause Parkinsons Disease
As paraquat application has increased, so has the rate of Parkinsons disease diagnosed in the U.S. population. In fact, early-onset Parkinsons disease saw a 107% increase in diagnoses between 2017 compared to 2013, when paraquat started replacing Roundup.
The National Institute of Health completed the Farming and Movement Evaluation study in 2011. According to its results, you are almost twice as likely to develop Parkinsons disease if youve been exposed to paraquat or a similar herbicide such as rotenone. Another 2012 study found that people exposed to paraquat with a certain genetic variation had 11 times the risk of getting Parkinsons disease compared to the general population.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently in the process of reviewing the effects of paraquat and deciding whether to further regulating the product.
The highest risk of paraquat exposure is occupational, affecting farm and agricultural workers who mix, load, or apply paraquat or post-process paraquat-sprayed crops. That includes:
- Farm and field workers
- Agricultural inspectors
- Herbicide mixers and sprayers
But even if youre not a farm or agricultural worker, you can be exposed to the dangers of paraquat. A 2009 study found that living within 1600 feet of a facility that uses paraquat can increase your risk of Parkinsons disease by 75%, especially when exposed at a younger age. You could have been exposed to paraquat without even realizing it.
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Lifespan Of Those With Parkinson’s
Many people think PD automatically means a shorter lifespan, but this isnt necessarily true. The area is under-researched, and the research that has been done has yielded variable results.
A study done at the Mayo Clinic found that overall, patients with PD had similar lifespans to those without PD, but if PD dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies were present, that did contribute to increased mortality rates.1 For those with typical PD without dementia, compared to the general population, they died approximately a year earlier.1,2 PD is not a direct killer like heart attack, and there are steps individuals can take to help maintain their functioning and health.
What Is The Mortality Rate For Parkinsons
Parkinsons disease is the most common movement disorder. It represents the second most common degenerative disease of the central nervous system.
Studies show that this disease affects around 1-2 people out of 1000. 1% of the population over 60 years old suffers from this disease. Nonetheless, Parkinsons is very rare before 50 years old.
The diseases appearance varies considerably on different reports, probably due to discrepancies in methodological concerns or diagnostic criteria. There is an appearance of approximately 5 to 21 new cases every year per 100.000 people. Also, statistics show that there are from 18 to 328 people with this condition per 100,000 population. Still, most of the studies estimate 120 cases per 100,000 people. Parkinsons disease is about 1.5 times more common in men than in women.
Before introducing Levodopa, Parkinsons disease caused severe disability or death in 25% of patients within five years of onset, 65% within ten years, and 90% within 15 years. After introducing levodopa, the mortality rate drops approximately 50%, and longevity extends by many years.
Nonetheless, statistics from 1999 to 2017 reveal there is an increase in deaths from this cause. In adults over 65 years, old death rates increased from 42 to 65 per 100,000 population from 1999 to 2017.
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Does Parkinson’s Cause Depression
Depression can pre-date other signs and symptoms of parkinsons even some of the motor symptoms. The possibility there is standardized mentality chemical changes in parkinsons and depression. A small pacemaker-like gimmick, named a pulse source, that creates the electric pulses. They take an interest in it and have been read a book named my gran has parkinsons but she still dreads what it will be like for them in the future tense. In our environs, explained the fast lies in new numbers racket of people with parkinsons and this is all set out in the book termination parkinsons disease and we are organizing this serial publication of webcasts on behalf of the book termination parkinsons disease with ray dorsey negotiation and michael oakland. Depression is common and is likely due to biochemical changes in the einstein connected with parkinsons disease.
Causes Of Parkinson Disease In Elderly
Its genuinely fun, we have a lobster repast, we whistle all the old songs. amantidine is not given once you are first diagnosed. Elderly people who catch coronavirus are likewise more at risk of grave complications, and senior people lay out a large part of the parkinsons age demographic .
Is Parkinsons Disease Fatal
It is important to understand that PD is not considered a fatal condition. As is the case with Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia, complications and a patients comorbid conditions are more life-threatening than PD itself. For example, because Parkinsons affects movement, balance and coordination, a patients risk of falling increases as the disease progresses. Falls are notoriously dangerous and a leading cause of injury and death among older adults. Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, is another complication that can develop at any point throughout ones journey with PD, and this can cause aspiration pneumoniaanother leading cause of death in patients.
Because a persons overall health is an important factor in how Parkinsons progresses, lifestyle choices are vitally important for prolonging both functionality and longevity. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, careful management of preexisting conditions and prevention of new medical issues is crucial.
It is important to work with a well-rounded medical team to understand PD symptoms, explore treatment options and devise a personalized care plan for improving ones overall health, maintaining a high quality of life, and preventing complications.
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What Are The Health Effects Of Chronic Paraquat Exposure
Paraquat is a fast-acting, rain-resistant, non-selective contact herbicide, which means it kills a wide range of plants. The chemical interferes with electron transfer, which is necessary for life to survive. Low-level, chronic exposure to paraquat can cause:
- Pulmonary problems or lung scarring
- Central nervous system and neurological tissue damage
Neurological damage includes mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress as seen in Parkinsons disease patients. Both of these problems lead to the loss of dopaminergic neurons the parts of your brain that create and maintain dopamine. This affects your ability to control your motor movements and can even affect your personality.
Please Fill Out This Form And Print Legibly
Doctors office staff, please take note of this one. I cringe whenever I see a new doctor and have to fill out reams of paperwork. My handwriting is atrocious it was the first symptom that sent me to the neurologist. And guess what? I had to fill out a lot of paperwork at his office! Although my typing on a computer is no longer as fast as it used to be, at least I have a spell-checker. E-forms are a greatly appreciated and preferred option.
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Parkinsons Doesnt Kill You
Its true that people do not die from Parkinsons, but they typically die from complications of the disease. As an example, Parkinsons can impair patients ability to swallow, putting them at risk for inhaling, or aspirating, food or liquid into their lungs, leading to aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in patients with this disease.
Still, I fear living with a poor quality of life and loss of my independence more than I fear dying.
In the grand scheme of things, comments made out of ignorance are no big deal considering what people with Parkinsons deal with every day. Now that you know what not to say, read Sherris column on things you can say to someone with Parkinsons.
Sometimes you dont have to say anything. Silence speaks it all. Disha Patani
How Does Dementia Kill You
Dementia is an umbrella term that covers many progressive brain diseases including Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and vascular dementia, among others. Patients of these diseases often exhibit different symptoms in the early stages of the specific disease they were diagnosed with but during the late stages, most symptoms are the same.
Its a common misconception that dementia itself doesnt kill the patient but rather major health events while suffering from dementia are the cause.
While its not uncommon for major health issues to be associated with dementia, the majority of patients die from the disease itself. That is why many experts recommend palliative care for patients in the end-stage of dementia. Rather than utilizing aggressive treatments for health problems caused by dementia, which cause additional distress and discomfort while rarely extending lifespan, they recommend keeping the patient comfortable and improving quality of life.
Here you can see the actual signs to look for in the end stages of dementia.
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What Diseases And Conditions Resemble Parkinsons Disease
PD is the most common form of parkinsonism, in which disorders of other causes produce features and symptoms that closely resemble Parkinsons disease. Many disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of PD, including:
Several diseases, including MSA, CBD, and PSP, are sometimes referred to as Parkinsons-plus diseases because they have the symptoms of PD plus additional features.
In very rare cases, parkinsonian symptoms may appear in people before the age of 20. This condition is called juvenile parkinsonism. It often begins with dystonia and bradykinesia, and the symptoms often improve with levodopa medication.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
The disease predominantly affects the basal ganglia, a group of nuclei at the base of the brain, and the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. They are responsible for relaying messages that plan and control body movement.
Furthermore, body movement is controlled by a complex chain of decisions involving many groups of nerve cells. These are the ganglia. Information comes to the striatum, a central area of the brain that works with the substantia nigra to send impulses back and forth from the spinal cord to the brain.
When dopamine receptors in the striatum receive an inadequate stimulus, parts of the basal ganglia are under or over-stimulated. Depending on the stimulation, this can cause movement symptoms like tremor or rigidity.
In Parkinsons disease patients, the nerve cells that produce dopamine are dying. Parkinsons disease symptoms occur when the nerve cells emit an impulse, and there is not enough dopamine to transmit it.
The 2 significant body findings in Parkinsons disease are the loss of pigmented dopaminergic nerve cells of the substantia nigra and the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain. Before the movement or motor signs of Parkinson disease emerge, approximately 60-80% of dopaminergic neurons are already lost.
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Key Programs And Resources
The Parkinsons Disease Biomarkers Programs , a major NINDS initiative, is aimed at discovering ways to identify individuals at risk for developing PD and Lewy Body Dementia and to track the progression of the disease. It funds research and collects human biological samples and clinical data to identify biomarkers that will speed the development of novel therapeutics for PD. Goals are improving clinical trials and earlier diagnosis and treatment. Projects are actively recruiting volunteers at sites across the U.S. NINDS also collaborates with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research on BioFIND, a project collecting biological samples and clinical data from healthy volunteers and those with PD. For more information about the PDBP and how you can get involved, please visit the PDBP website.
The NINDS Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinsons Disease Research program supports research centers across the country that work collaboratively to study PD disease mechanisms, the genetic contributions to PD, and potential therapeutic targets and treatment strategies.
The NINDS Intramural Research Program conducts clinical studies to better understand PD mechanisms and develop novel and improve treatments.
The NINDS Biospecimens Repositories store and distribute DNA, cells, blood samples, cerebrospinal fluid, and autopsy tissue to PD researchers around the world.
The Reality Of Managing Symptoms
Dr. Benjamin Walter, of the Center for Neuro-Restoration at Cleveland Clinic, said that the average person isnt accustomed to the strict regimen of multiple medications a day thats part of everyday life for people with Parkinsons.
Most people feel burdened just taking an antibiotic, which can be difficult to remember. Now, imagine someone who has Parkinsons the minimal dosing is usually three times a day, Walter said.
He explained that the need to frequently take medication is because it usually only lasts in a persons bloodstream for 90 minutes.
Once the medication gets into the brain, its converted to dopamine and stored in dopamine neurons, which recycles and reuses that medication over and over until it is depleted. Now, its not uncommon to have patients on meds four or five times a day, he said.
Walter stressed that when discussing Parkinsons and off periods, no two people are the same.
Parkinsons is a highly variable disease. Some people will experience different motor symptoms and tremors than others.
For example, some people freeze when they walk, while others dont.
He said the off periods can be terrifying for many people and also cause a different symptom anxiety.
Walter said that its important for those taking care of a person with Parkinsons to understand how dangerous off periods can be.
He stressed the importance of making sure patients get their medications on schedule so that everything is kept in working order.
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