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What Toxins Can Cause Parkinson’s Disease

Rural Living And An Increased Risk Of Pd

What are some of the common misconceptions about Parkinson’s disease?

In the 1980s, studies were conducted that showed that early-age exposure to a rural environment as well as exposure to well water were associated with development of PD later in life. Subsequently, multiple additional studies looked at these questions. The studies are mixed in their conclusions, but overall the evidence supports associations between increased PD risk with each of the following:

  • farming as an occupation,
  • well water drinking, and
  • living in a rural area.

Of course, all these categories are inter-related, since farmers live on farms in rural areas, are exposed to farm animals, are more likely than urban dwellers to drink well water and use pesticides. The studies were attempting to tease out why rural environments increased the risk of PD. Do only those who actually farm have an increased risk or is it enough to live on a farm? Is pesticide exposure the reason for the increased risk? Well water exposure? Exposure to farm animals? Or is it another element of rural life?

In the end, epidemiologic data supports the assertion that each of these elements increases the risk of PD. Of note, all of the increased risks in these studies are small on the order of 1.5-2 times the risk of the general population.

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Best neuro-protective foods and supplements.

You may ask us about:

  • Supplements scientifically shown to replenish glutathione levels to protect against cell death and toxins
  • Glutathione-building supplement for detoxifying metals and pesticides

We hope that you have been inspired for better Parkinson Disease treatments with natural help.

  • Knowing that yes, that environmental toxins lead to Parkinson is hopefully less scary, because there are prptective foods and supplements.
  • For your best shot at a Parkinson cure, you will want to add the best foods and supplements shown to be neuro-protective.

Metals such as iron are usually high in the brains of Parkinsons patients. Iron can be reduced in the body by:

  • not taking iron supplements
  • eating less red meat
  • donating blood
  • drinking green tea and adding curcumin to your food. These contain natural iron-chelating, substances – molecules that bind to and remove iron.

Knowing the causes Parkinson Disease will hopefully help live a fuller and longer life!


1. Int J Mol Sci. Parkinsons Disease: From Pathogenesis to Pharmacogenomics 2017 Mar 18: 551. Published online 2017

2. Front Neurosci. Neurochemical and Behavior Deficits in Rats with Iron and Rotenone Co-treatmen. 2017 Nov 23 11:657. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00657. eCollection 2017.

3. PARKINSONS DISEASE: A SYNDROME NOT ADISEASE Issue: BCMJ, vol. 43 , No. 3, April 2001 , Pages 129-132Clinical Articles By: Donald B. Calne, OC, DM

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing Parkinsons Disease After Coming Into Contact With Paraquat

None of us are immune from the health effects of toxic chemicals. What makes some of us more susceptible to developing one disease or another is not yet known, but likely it is a combination of our environment interacting with our genes.

People with a genetic predisposition for Parkinsons disease may be more affected by low level exposures to Paraquat, and therefore more likely to develop the disease, although many people have developed Parkinsons disease without a known genetic susceptibility.

Those at the greatest risk are people who most frequently use or are exposed to Paraquat, such as farmworkers and those who live in or near areas where large amounts of Paraquat are sprayed.

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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.

Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented


Sadly, no.

It is not possible to prevent Parkinsons disease, but some believe that lifelong healthy habits may reduce ones risk of developing the condition. Some medications may also relieve some of its symptoms.

In some PD patients, particularly those who are at the late stage of the disease, surgery may be an option to help improve symptoms.

Some experts also advise doing rpeventive measures such as wearing gloves and other protectvie equipment when applying pesticides as it may help protect you against the disease.

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Naturaltreatment For Parkinsons #6 Magnesium & Iodine:

Magnesium is vital for the health of the entire nervoussystem, especially the protective layer that surrounds the nerves . Magnesiumis also essential for the production of dopamine and helps protect dopaminergicneurons in the substantia nigra from degeneration. In addition to this, new evidence is showing that low levels of magnesium in the brain causes a build-up ofheavy metals a major factor in the development of Parkinsons, Alzheimers,epilepsy and MS. In a recent trial, 30 epileptics were given 450 mg ofmagnesium daily and this successfully controlled their seizures. Ifmagnesium can help epilepsy patients, it can certainly help Parkinsons sufferers. Worldrenowned magnesium expert and author, Dr Carolyn Dean, has both Parkinsons andAlzheimers disease in her top 55 health conditions caused by amagnesium deficiency list and says that magnesium is 100% essential for the preventionand treatment of both of these diseases Dr Carolyn Dean Interview

In regards to iodine, well-known researcher and author,Dr James Howenstein, says

Iodineis found in large quantities in the brain and the ciliary body of the eye. A lackof iodine may be involved in the production of Parkinsons disease andglaucoma.

Inthe brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brainthat has been associated with Parkinsons disease.

David Brownstein M.D. 9

Best Sources of Magnesium and Iodine

-What Youll Need

1 cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes

1 cup of Distilled Water

Common Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Here are some of the early signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease that you need to be on the lookout for in deciding to see a healthcare professional who can provide medical advice.

  • Rigid muscles
  • Lack of ability to write
  • Slowed movement
  • Low blood pressure

If you notice these, or other symptoms involving the nervous system, it is time to see a doctor. If you experience a sudden drop in the bodys ability to execute any of these tasks or control movements, it is a sign that something is wrong. Doctors may be able to give medications or other treatments that could improve symptoms.

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One Of The First Studies To Look At Human Cells

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.

How Does Paraquat Cause Parkinsons Disease

Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Paraquat kills cells through a mechanism called oxidative stress, meaning that altered cell chemistry leads to cell damage and death. Parkinsons disease results from the loss of function in the dopamine neuron cells of the substantia nigra pars compacta, a small region of the brain. These neurons may be more vulnerable to oxidative stress than other neurons, and thus more affected by Paraquat, particularly in people with a genetic susceptibility. Not everyone who is exposed to Paraquat develops Parkinsons disease, nor does everyone with a genetic susceptibility.

Only a small number of Parkinsons disease cases are genetic or inherited. As with many diseases, there likely is an interaction between environmental exposures and genetics that leads to the disease.

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Better Parkinson Prognosis With Protection

One of the known markers for PD is low glutathione in the substantia nigra – which was also the case for these animals that were given rotenone and iron.

Glutathione is the body’s “protective molecule” and is typically depleted in the brains of Parkinsons patients.

Increasing glutathione in the substantia nigra, they found, gave the test animals “dopaminergic neuroprotection” and decreased the damage caused by these toxins.

This molecule can also protect against the eventual toxic effect of the Parkinsons medications which cause dyskinesia or “shaking:”

See: Dyskinesia caused by Parkinsons Medications, Carbidopa, Levodopa

How You Lose Dopamine Production

Damaged nerve cells can be what results in a decreased ability of the brain to create dopamine. Generally, some kind of degradation of the brain cells will reduce dopamine production.

There is some genetic link to parkinsons disease. For example, specific genetic mutations can impact the dopamine production. Far more common is that exposure to something in the environment can impact the brain.

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This Chemical Is Banned In Europe But Common In The Us

Doctors have a difficult time tracing cases of Parkinsons Disease back to their root cause, in no small part because the degenerative neurological condition can be triggered by exposure to chemicals years before any symptoms emerge.

But case numbers have increased drastically in the US over the course of the last decade, University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist Ray Dorsey warned The Guardian, and a carcinogen called TCE thats commonly used in household and industrial cleaning products might be to blame.

Scientists first linked TCE to Parkinsons back in 2012, but the compound is often overlooked in studies on the disease because whole decades can pass in between exposure and the onset of symptoms in some cases, according to The Guardian. In the meantime, other causes including gut hormones have been linked to the disease, but an increasing body of evidence continues to point toward chemical exposure. TCE is banned in Europe, but there are no federal restrictions on it in the US, and only Minnesota and New York have banned the compound.

Numerous studies have linked well water to Parkinsons disease, and its not just TCE in those cases, it can be pesticides like paraquat, too, Dorsey told The Guardian.

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Pesticide And Herbicide Exposure

Can Mold Cause Parkinsons Disease?

A strong link has been shown between PD and exposure to pesticides and herbicides. We need more Parkinsons-specific research to better understand what causes PD and to work to prevent it and help eliminate the risk of getting the disease, when it comes to all environmental risk factors and whether genetics can cause an increased risk in developing Parkinsons.

One herbicide that has been linked to Parkinsons is paraquat, a widely used commercial herbicide in the U.S. that is banned in 32 countries, including the European Union and China. The Parkinsons Foundation, along with the Unified Parkinsons Advocacy Council, signed two letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encouraging them to cancel the registration of paraquat based on strong scientific research linking the herbicide to Parkinsons disease. In October 2020, the EPA re-approved paraquat for use in the U.S. Without additional action, paraquat will remain legal for sale and use in the U.S. for the next 15 years.

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Broader Environmental Factors May Also Be To Blame

While the research seems to support an association between well water and an increased risk of PD, the American Parkinson Disease Foundation points out that the interrelated nature of several environmental factors make it difficult to single out any one factor as solely responsible.

Those who drink private well water are more likely to live on a farm, be exposed to pesticides through other means, live in proximity to farm animals, and live in rural areas. “In the end, epidemiologic data supports the assertion that each of these elements increases the risk of PD,” the APDA explains.

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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.

Targeting Parkinsons-Linked Protein Could Neutralize 2 of the Diseases Causes

Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinsons disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link.

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Who Are At Risk Of Developing Drug Included Parkinsonism

Some patients may be at a higher risk of developing medication-induced Parkinson

ism than others. Some of the risks include-

Women: Women are seen to be two times as much at risk of having drug inducing Parkinsons disease than men.

AIDS Patients: People with AIDS are at a higher risk.

Family History: Patients having a family history Parkinsons disease are at a higher risk of having drug induced Parkinsonism.

Elderly: Since elder people are usually on multiple medicines, they are at risk of having drug induced Parkinsonism.

Neurotoxicity Of Pq Mptp And Other Dopamine Congeners

Fighting Fires and Parkinson’s Disease

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 .

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What Other Health Risks Have Been Linked To Paraquat Use

Paraquat is highly toxic to humans one small accidental sip is often fatal, and there is no antidote. Many deaths occur around the world each year from accidental ingestion of Paraquat, often as a result of the concentrate being transferred into a beverage container. Paraquat and another herbicide, Diquat, caused 85% of all herbicide-related deaths in the U.S. from 1998 to 2011.

Other health risks due to long-term low-dose exposure to Paraquat include asthma, kidney disease, and scarring of the lungs.

The Link Between Parkinsons Disease And Toxic Chemicals

Member for

New York Times

The article highlights the link between Parkinsons disease and toxic chemicals. Includes citations from Parkinsons Foundation National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okuns new book, Ending Parkinsons Disease. The article also highlights the rising prevalence of PD across the globe.

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Age And Genetic Factors Are Not Everything

The rate of Parkinsons disease globally has exceeded far faster than the population has aged according to the American Parkinson Disease Association.

Cases of the disease are up by several multiples over the past decades. From 1990 to 2015, the cases of the disease globally more than doubled, suggesting that there is far more at work. From 2015 to 2040, cases are expected to double once again. This is far higher than the rate of aging in the population.

Anesthetic Drugs May Interact With Medications Used For Parkinsons Disease


Lorri A. Lee, MD Tricia A. Meyer, PharmD, MS, FASHP

An estimated one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease making it one of the most common neurological disorders in patients. This number is estimated to double in the next 30 years as PD is associated with increasing age. PD patients have a deficiency of dopamine in their brain and many of their medications are used to increase this neurotransmitter. They are frequently very sensitive to missing even one dose of their Parkinson medications and may exhibit increased rigidity, loss of balance, agitation, and confusion if their dosing schedule is delayed. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome or parkinsonism-hyperpyrexia syndrome can develop if their medications are held too long or as a result of serious infection.1 Many drugs used in the perioperative period, such as metoclopramide, butyrophenones , and phenothiazines have anti-dopaminergic activity that can worsen the symptoms of PD.

PD patients may be prescribed selective MAOI-B medications such as selegiline and rasagiline that inhibit metabolism of dopamine. Though caution is still advised, several studies have demonstrated that the risk of serotonin syndrome with these selective MAOI-B drugs is extremely low, even in combination with serotonergic antidepressants.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare for this article.

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