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Pesticides and Parkinson’s Disease—Is There a Link?

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posted on 2013-11-22, 13:10 authored by Terry P. Brown, Paul C. Rumsby, Alexander C. Capleton, Lesley Rushton, Leonard S. Levy
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an idiopathic disease of the nervous system characterized by progressive tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. It has been postulated that exogenous toxicants, including pesticides, might be involved in the etiology of PD. In this article we present a comprehensive review of the published epidemiologic and toxicologic literature and critically evaluate whether a relationship exists between pesticide exposure and PD. From the epidemiologic literature, there does appear to be a relatively consistent relationship between pesticide exposure and PD. This relationship appears strongest for exposure to herbicides and insecticides, and after long durations of exposure. Toxicologic data suggest that paraquat and rotenone may have neurotoxic actions that potentially play a role in the development of PD, with limited data for other pesticides. However, both the epidemiology and toxicology studies were limited by methodologic weaknesses. Particular issues of current and future interest include multiple exposures (both pesticides and other exogenous toxicants), developmental exposures, and gene–environment interactions. At present, the weight of evidence is sufficient to conclude that a generic association between pesticide exposure and PD exists but is insufficient for concluding that this is a causal relationship or that such a relationship exists for any particular pesticide compound or combined pesticide and other exogenous toxicant exposure.

History

Citation

Environmental Health Perspectives, 2006, 114 (2), pp. 156–164

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Environmental Health Perspectives

Publisher

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

issn

0091-6765

eissn

1552-9924

Copyright date

2006

Available date

2013-11-22

Publisher version

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=10.1289/ehp.8095

Language

en

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