Individuals are able to dramatically reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease by making changes to their lifestyle, a new US report has found.
Environmental factors are key drivers behind both conditions, according to the Environmental Threats to Healthy Ageing report published jointly by Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Science and Environmental Health Network.
Dietary patterns, exposure to toxic chemicals, lack of exercise and socio-economic stress are among the areas cited by the researchers as important risk factors for the diseases.
Report co-author Jill Stein reported that they had uncovered a "web" of environmental factors which directly relate to the prevalence of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and similar chronic diseases.
She added: "Our activities in the areas of food and agriculture, energy, chemical use and social organisation are key drivers in the abnormal loss of neurological function in older people throughout the modern world."
Meanwhile, a separate research team in the US has revealed it is to investigate the apparent link between pesticides and Parkinson's disease.
Lead researcher Dr Marie-Francoise Chesselet of the University of California said they will look into how molecular pathways can be disrupted by agricultural pesticides.
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