Feeds

Pesticide link to Parkinson's disease

Gardeners join boxers on at-risk list

Application security programs and practises

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
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.