Feeds

Pesticide link to Parkinson's disease

Gardeners join boxers on at-risk list

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have found an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease among those exposed to pesticides.

Previous research has shown that pesticides, which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, may affect the way a cell's mitochondria function, the Telegraph reports.

In Parkinson's sufferers, the brain's dopamine-producing cells are "damaged, dead, or otherwise degenerated" - leading to a lack of this chemical "which transmits signals within the brain to produce smooth movement of muscles". The results, Parkinsons.org explains, range from "tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face" to "postural instability or impaired balance and coordination".

Low-level exposure to pesticides, such as that experienced by amateur gardeners, made it 1.13 times more likely they'd succumb to the disease than "those who had never been exposed", the researchers found. This increased to 1.41 in the case of high-level exposure, for instance among farmers.

The EU-funded study probed 3,000 people in Italy, Romania, Scotland, and Sweden including 767 with Parkinson's. Participants "completed a questionnaire on their lifetime occupational and recreational exposure to solvents, pesticides, iron, copper, and manganese".

The study's lead boffin, Dr Finlay Dick, said: "Pesticide use is associated with Parkinson's disease and this has implications for users of these agents. Further research is needed to establish which pesticides are associated with this effect."

Dick hopes that once identified, the offending chemicals can be replaced with non-threatening alternatives.

This new at-risk group can be added to the best-known victims of Parkinson's - boxers. As the case of Muhammed Ali appears to prove, getting knocked senseless for a living substantially increases the possibility of subsequent degeneration.

According to Dick, the disease "occurred 1.35 times more frequently in people who had been knocked unconscious once than those who had never been knocked out, and 2.53 times more frequently in those who had been knocked out more often".

He said: "This finding, if confirmed, has implications for all contact sports and, in particular, combat sports such as boxing. Head injury has previously been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, but the results have been inconsistent."

The Aberdeen Uni findings are published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.