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Pesticide exposure 'increases risk of Parkinson's disease'

Pesticide exposure 'increases risk of Parkinson's disease'
23rd April 2009

The risk of a person developing Parkinson's disease is heightened if they are in close contact with pesticides commonly associated with crop growing, it has been stated.

According to a new study from researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), pesticides which are applied to potatoes, dry beans and tomatoes are known to trigger the neurodegenerative condition.

Professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health Beate Ritz found that Central Valley residents, who lived within 500 metres of fields which were sprayed between 1974 and 1999 with such intoxicants, had a 75 per cent increased risk of getting Parkinson's disease.

Furthermore, the data "suggests that the critical window of exposure to toxicants may have occurred years before the onset of motor symptoms when a diagnosis of Parkinson's is made."

The fight against Parkinson's is becoming more public in recent weeks in the UK, with Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman stating that he will be donating his brain for research upon his death.

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