Sunday, July 21, 2024

Parkinson’s And Farm Chemicals

Pesticide Residues For The Rest Of Us

Is Parkinson’s disease related to pesticide use? | DW Documentary

As for those of us not handling pesticides on the job or at home, pesticide residues are found on a majority of commercially grown foods. In a review of the research by Cornell Universitys Dr. David Pimentel, 73% to 90% of conventional fruits and vegetables contain pesticide residues, with at least 5% of those pesticide levels above FDA tolerance amounts.

While the cost of organic foods might be a tad higher in the store, the price paid in the long run for pesticides in terms of liver disorders and nervous disorders such as Parkinsons as well as environmental damage to our bees, waterways and soils makes the real price for organic foods much more competitive to conventional, pesticide- and herbicide-laden foods.

Household Chemicals Linked To Parkinsons

Susan Lumsden

The crippling disease which has struck down screen star Michael J Fox

and boxing legend Muhammad Ali could be caused by exposure to chemicals at

home or work.

Scientists fear household paint, varnishes and garden sprays might be

responsible for Parkinsons disease.

They are at the centre of a study to investigate the links

between these common items and the distressing illness.

Most prevalent in the elderly, Parkinsons is a disease of the brain which

It affects about two in every 1,000 of the population and the chances of

becoming a victim of it increase after the age of 50. It is characterised by

the shuffling gait and blank expression which are nowadays associated with

Muhammad Ali.

The Aberdeen based researchers hope that at the end of the three-year project

they will have found ways of preventing a significant number of cases.

Professor Anthony Seaton of Aberdeen University said yesterday that if

everyday items are found to be causing cases of Parkinsons then the public

has a right to be warned.

Some people do a lot of DIY. If they are risk factors then clearly people

their research will look at links between genetic and environmental factors.

He said: We are looking at chemicals that are known to affect the brain and

that would include solvents such as paints, varnishes and glues, and

organo-phosphates such as insecticides.

These are things that can be found in the home or in industry.

these chemicals are as a risk factor.

not likely to be a problem.

What You Need To Know About Paraquat And Parkinsons Disease

Dozens of countries around the world have banned the use of paraquat, a weed killer so toxic that ingesting a single sip can be deadly, according to The New York Times.

In the United States, paraquat use isnt just legalits on the rise. The total amount of paraquat usage in the U.S. doubled between 2006 and 2016, the National Water-Quality Assessment Project reported.

That increase in usage translates to an increase in exposure to paraquat and to the harms linked to the toxic chemical. Numerous research studies have shown that, besides posing a risk of potentially deadly paraquat poisoning, the herbicide can increase your risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

The paraquat manufacturers named in lawsuits so far include Syngenta, Growmark, and Chevron U.S.A, Inc.

Is Paraquat in Roundup?

No, paraquat is not the active ingredient found in Roundup. While the herbicide Roundup has also been the subject of lawsuitsmore than 125,000 of themin recent years, the active ingredients and the specific health risks associated with these chemicals are different.

The makers of herbicides containing paraquat are facing lawsuits over the link between the toxic chemical and Parkinsons Disease. Monsanto, the company that first made Roundup, and Bayer, the parent company that now owns Monsanto, are facing lawsuits over evidence of a link between cancer and the active ingredient in Roundup.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder in which nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra dont produce enough of the neurotransmitter dopamine, according to the Parkinsons Foundation. Not having enough dopamine is what causes the movement symptoms that distinguish Parkinsons disease, including tremors, limb rigidity, and gait problems.

Although it is a movement disorder, Parkinsons disease can bring about non-movement symptoms that include cognitive impairment, depression, sleep disorders, and constipation, according to the Parkinsons Foundation.

Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder. This means the disease gets worse over time. Although Parkinsons disease is incurable, its symptoms are treatable. Data from some clinical research trials suggest that there is hope to slow Parkinsons disease progression through early intervention, although theres not enough data to conclusively demonstrate that this is possible, according to The American Journal of Managed Care.

One Of The First Studies To Look At Human Cells

Why pesticides may cause Parkinson

The researchers used stem cells from patients with Parkinsons disease who had a mutation in the gene responsible for encoding the -synuclein protein.

At least 30 alterations in this gene have been associated with Parkinsons, and -synuclein protein clumps are a well-documented, albeit poorly understood, hallmark of the disease.

For the new research, the scientists also worked with normal embryonic cells that they modified using genetic editing to replicate the -synuclein genetic mutation.

Prof. Ryan explains why using human cells makes this study particularly valuable. Until now, he says, the link between pesticides and Parkinsons disease was based primarily on animal studies as well as epidemiological research that demonstrated an increased risk among farmers and others exposed to agricultural chemicals.

We are one of the first to investigate what is happening inside human cells, explains Prof. Ryan.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that go on to individualize into specific types of cells. Prof. Ryan and his colleagues used the two types of stem cells to derive dopamine-producing nerve cells from them.

Then, they exposed these dopaminergic neurons which are known to be affected the most by Parkinsons disease to the two pesticides.

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Environmental Factors In Parkinsons Disease

Here are environmental factors that may play a role in the development of Parkinsons disease:

Although environmental exposure to these and other toxins is of continued research interest, its hard to determine if any one substance is a culprit. Most often, individual cases of Parkinsons disease result from a complex interplay between genetics and environmental and other factors.

How To Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease does not appear to be preventable. A few correlations have been discovered that can lower the chances of Parkinson’s disease developing. They are:

  • High levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity like biking and swimming. Most farmers feel like they receive plenty of exercise a day, but it probably is not vigorous activity. Try leaving the utility vehicle at home and walking briskly.
  • Be sure to consume the recommended amount of vegetables. Higher amounts of fresh and raw vegetables are best.
  • Avoid excess iron and manganese. Make sure the extra supplements are actually needed.
  • When working with pesticides or paint only do so in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator that can be bought at most hardware stores.

Safety precautions need to be taken by everyone on the farm however, for farmers diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease it is especially important to follow some simple safety precautions.

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Farming With Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most diagnosed neurodegenerative disease. It typically develops later in life and slowly progresses resulting from a deficiency in the brain of dopamine, one of many chemical messengers in the brain permitting nerve cells to communicate with each other. Without it, messages from the brain to the muscles are disrupted.

Parkinson’s disease is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental risk factors and genetic susceptibility. Use of pesticides and Parkinson’s disease have been associated, but it has not been narrowed down to specific pesticides or how the amount of exposure contributed.

It can be difficult to continue to farm with Parkinson’s disease. Tremors and rigidity can make it hard to hold hand tools, preventing you from making your own repairs. Diminishing balance can increase the potential of a secondary injury from a slip, trip, or fall. Not only is it difficult to adjust to the side effects of the disease, but also the medicine used to treat Parkinson’s disease can also cause nausea, vomiting, involuntary movements, light-headedness, confusion, insomnia and dizziness, which can dramatically reduce productivity.

What Is Trichloroethylene Used In

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Trichloroethylene is used in several industries. It is mostly used as a solvent to remove grease from metal such as auto parts, but it may also be an ingredient in:

  • furniture cleaners
  • computer part cleaners
  • adhesives

TCE, however, does not only affect those people who come into contact with it, as it has been shown to persist in the environment for over a year.

Unsuspecting victims may not even realize that they have been exposed to the substance, as it can also contaminate groundwater and soil, and even well water that people drink.

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Neurotoxicity Of Pq Mptp And Other Dopamine Congeners

Several studies suggest that systemic administration of PQ can cause neuronal damage and a parkinsonian-like syndrome in experimental animals . The linking mechanism between PQ exposure and Parkinson’s disease is suggested by the alleged chemical similarity between this compound and others known to cause a parkinsonian syndrome, particularly MPTP. MPTP can reproduce most of the biochemical, neuropathological and clinical characteristics of human parkinsonism in both human and non-human primates, with the notable exception of Lewy body formation. MPTP toxicity has been studied in cell systems in mice and in non-human primates. In rats, dopaminergic neurodegeneration is observed at high doses, whereas mice have become the most commonly used species for MPTP studies as they develop a dopaminergic degeneration that may be related to human parkinsonism.

Figure 1

Mechanisms of PQ and MPTP toxicity. PQ can cause an oxidative stress either intracellularly by redox cycling or by activation at cell surfaces by the NADPH oxidase . Mitochondria can be affected indirectly or directly by PQ. In neurons the effects of PQ are believed to be primarily cytosolic. MPTP is converted to its toxic metabolite MPP+ and then sequestered through the dopamine transporter in dopaminergic neurons in which it primarily affects complex I, promoting oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage

It is apparent from this analysis that the initial targets and toxicity mechanisms of PQ and MPP+ differ .

The Rise Of Parkinsons Disease

Neurological disorders are the worlds leading cause of disability. And the fastest growing of these conditions is not Alzheimers but Parkinsons disease.

  • The number of people with Parkinsons disease more than doubled from 1990 to 2015 and could double again by 2040. An aging population alone does not account for this rise.
  • Air pollution, metal production, certain industrial chemicals, and some synthetic pesticides are linked to Parkinsons. Yet we are doing little to manage known risk factors.
  • The authors contend that the United States should ban trichloroethylene, paraquat, and other chemicals linked to Parkinsons, which many other countries have already done.

From 1990 to 2015, the number of people living with Parkinsons more than doubled from 2.6 million to 6.3 million, according to a 2015 study in Lancet Neurology. By 2040, the number is projected to double again to at least 12.9 million, a stunning rise .

The number of people with Parkinsons disease more than doubled between 1990 and 2015 and is projected to double again by 2040.

Figure adapted from E. R. Dorsey and B. R. Bloem, 2018.

Figure adapted from R. Dorsey et al., 2020.

The number of people who succumb to Parkinsons each year has been increasing steadily.

Data from: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data.

Christophe Vander Eecken / Reporters / Science Source

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Effects Of Parkinson’s Disease On The Body Include:

  • Tremors.
  • Continue regular daily activities to help maintain mobility.
  • Lead as normal a life as possible, not restricting activities that are still possible.
  • Establish a regular exercise program consisting of stretching and weight bearing.
  • Walking 30 minutes each day can be a realistic goal.
  • Seek advice from a rehabilitation specialist as soon as possible for help determining an exercise level, overcoming problems with balance and safety, difficulties with speech, or for fatigue and stress management.
  • Adaptive training and use of quad-canes or straight canes, and other mechanical aids help with balance problems.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary stress in your life. Leading a healthy life, eating regularly, sleeping regularly, and exercising will help keep you fit both mentally and physically.
  • All symptoms of Parkinson’s disease get worse under stress.
  • Ask the doctor about regulating treatments so that treatments are more effective during peak work conditions.

Synthetic Heroin And Parkinsonism


In 1983, several cases prompted researchers to think about whether toxicants could cause Parkinsons disease. A 39-year-old man in California presented to an emergency room with visual hallucinations, jerking of limbs, generalized slowing, and difficulty walking. He had no prior medical history, neurologic history, or family history of neurologic disease. At around the same time, a woman and two men from the same area developed young-onset subacute parkinsonism. James Tetrud, MD, and J. William Langston, MD, the neurologists who examined these patients, learned that they were all IV narcotic addicts. Between two and six weeks before presentation, the patients had injected a synthetic heroin that they had obtained from the same supplier. The toxicant in the synthetic heroin that had induced the parkinsonism was identified as 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine . All of these patients responded to levodopa.

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Environmental Toxins And Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is said to be because of the loss of dopamine-releasing nerve cells in a small, central part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra produces dopamine, which helps coordinate movement in our body.

But when nigral nerve cells are impaired, less dopamine is released and motor function is affected. And thats when hallmark Parkinsons symptoms including tremors, difficulty balancing, and slowed movement start to set in.

Several studies have suggested that environmental toxicants including pesticides, herbicides, and other pollutants are linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

Heres how these chemicals are said to play a role in the development of the neurological disorder:

A Disease On The Rise

Bas Bloem, professor of neurology at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, is a world-renowned expert on Parkinson’s and co-author of the recently published academic-paper The Emerging Evidence of a Parkinson Pandemic describing how the number of people with the disease doubled between 1990 and 2015 and is expected to double again by 2040.

“Parkinson’s is one of the few diseases that increases,” he said.

Bloem sees a clear link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease despite the difficulties in pinpointing causality.

“The problem is that if you lose dopamine-producing cells, you get Parkinson’s disease” said Bloem. But that is “a process that can take many years.”

In June 2021, the world-renowned French research institute Inserm published a landmark reportconfirming that occupational exposure to pesticides was “strongly linked” to at least six serious illnesses.

Based on data from more than 5,300 scientific reports and studies, experts concluded that pesticides could cause Parkinson’s, cognitive disorders, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma both cancers that affect white blood cells prostate cancer, as well as certain respiratory system disorders.

The report confirmed preliminary conclusions published by Inserm eight years earlier.

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Parkinsons Disease And Covid

Many people in the disease community have wondered: how will COVID-19 impact my treatment and condition? In this case, Bloem notes that patients with Parkinsons disease are not any more likely to contract COVID-19 than anyone else. However, he does believe that patients who get COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe symptoms. Parkinsons symptoms can become less severe with exercise and physical activity, or more severe due to stress. In a co-authored article, Bloem explains that:

Non-motor issues such as insomnia or constipation may also worsen due to a lack of physical activity. Promoting home-based and adequately dosed exercises, such as cycling on a stationary bicycle, is therefore more important than ever before.

However, he hopes that this pandemic shows people that more research needs to be done on Parkinsons disease, and that more data needs to be discovered on the impact of these situations on patients. Read the full article in Journal of Parkinsons Disease.

Exposure To Pesticides And Solvents Increases Parkinsons Disease Risk

Understanding Parkinson’s disease

The downside to bug-free fruit may be an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

Weeds and insects arent necessarily desirable when it comes to our produce and gardenshave you ever chomped down on an apple only to find a worm? But the chemicals used to kill pests in fields and planters may be harming your health as well. After analyzing 104 studies, researchers from the University Hospital San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, found that exposure to pesticides targeting weeds and insects in farming was associated with a 33 to 80 percent increase in the risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

The researchers decided to take a closer look at the impact of pesticides, which are designed to kill things like insects and weeds but not to endanger human consumers or workers, when they noticed more and more patients reporting pesticide exposure. In every day clinical practice we frequently see patients reporting such exposure. Accordingly, it appears quite obvious to look at these exposures as risk factors, said study author Emanuele Cereda, MD, Ph.D., in an interview with Healthline.

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Paraquat Exposure Alert: Paraquat Linked To Parkinsons Diseaseagricultural Workers Could Be Entitled To Compensation

Agricultural workers who were exposed to the herbicide paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease may have a claim for financial compensation.

With lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers already filed in multiple states, attorneys are now investigating paraquat lawsuit cases at no charge.

A paraquat toxic exposure lawsuit may be your only chance to receive the compensation you need to cover the costs of treating Parkinsons disease.

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