Environmental Factors In Parkinsons Disease
Here are environmental factors that may play a role in the development of Parkinsons disease:
Although environmental exposure to these and other toxins is of continued research interest, its hard to determine if any one substance is a culprit. Most often, individual cases of Parkinsons disease result from a complex interplay between genetics and environmental and other factors.
Modelling Pd In Rodents And Simple Organisms
Impaired mitochondrial function is a predominant feature in cases of Parkinson’s disease due to genetic or environmental modifications, which result in mitochondrial stress. This may directly compromise the neuron or cause alterations in neurotransmitter release, resulting in post-synaptic damage. A pro-inflammatory component is increasingly considered to be important in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative conditions including PD, and pro-inflammatory activation of glial cells may be pivotal in disease onset.,
Although many of the genes involved in PD have been identified, their interactions are still unclear. Mutations of -synuclein or duplications of -synuclein are linked to familial PD and -synuclein is a component of Lewy bodies. -synuclein tends to form intracellular fibrils and aggregates, particularly after oxidative stress. Loss of an ubiquitin ligase, Parkin, is responsible for autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism. Finally, mutations in genes coding for UCH-L1 and Pink-1 are linked to autosomal recessive PD, whereas mutations in LRRK2 are linked with autosomal dominant PD. Recent work has shown that mutations in the mitochondrial protease HtrA2 are also linked to PD downstream of the kinase, Pink 1. Mutations in Parkin are recognized as the most common cause of familial parkinsonism and may be involved in sporadic PD. Parkin seems to work as a broad-spectrum neuroprotectant, the efficacy of which decreases with ageing.
Neurotoxicity Of Pq Mptp And Other Dopamine Congeners
Several studies suggest that systemic administration of PQ can cause neuronal damage and a parkinsonian-like syndrome in experimental animals . The linking mechanism between PQ exposure and Parkinson’s disease is suggested by the alleged chemical similarity between this compound and others known to cause a parkinsonian syndrome, particularly MPTP. MPTP can reproduce most of the biochemical, neuropathological and clinical characteristics of human parkinsonism in both human and non-human primates, with the notable exception of Lewy body formation. MPTP toxicity has been studied in cell systems in mice and in non-human primates. In rats, dopaminergic neurodegeneration is observed at high doses, whereas mice have become the most commonly used species for MPTP studies as they develop a dopaminergic degeneration that may be related to human parkinsonism.
Mechanisms of PQ and MPTP toxicity. PQ can cause an oxidative stress either intracellularly by redox cycling or by activation at cell surfaces by the NADPH oxidase . Mitochondria can be affected indirectly or directly by PQ. In neurons the effects of PQ are believed to be primarily cytosolic. MPTP is converted to its toxic metabolite MPP+ and then sequestered through the dopamine transporter in dopaminergic neurons in which it primarily affects complex I, promoting oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage
It is apparent from this analysis that the initial targets and toxicity mechanisms of PQ and MPP+ differ .
You May Like: How To Avoid Parkinson’s Disease
Do Pesticides Cause Parkinsons
I recently heard that pesticides cause Parkinsons disease. If this is true, can you tell me whether buying organic fruits and vegetables provides adequate protection? My mother had Parkinsons so I worry about this disease a lot.
Andrew Weil, M.D. | August 30, 2013
Parkinsons disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide behind Alzheimers disease. Parkinsons affects nerve cells in the part of the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra, responsible for muscle movement. Symptoms include tremors, rigidity, slow movements and balance problems that worsen over time. Parkinson patients often exhibit signs of depression and may eventually develop cognitive problems, including dementia. But although PD may result in disability, the disease often moves slowly, and most people have a number of years of only minor disability following a diagnosis.
For some time, experts have believed that unusual exposure to herbicides and pesticides increase the risk of developing Parkinsons disease. The latest word on this subject comes from Italian researchers who reviewed 104 studies from around the world and concluded that exposure to pesticides, bug and weed killers and solvents appears to be associated with a 33 to 80 percent increase in the risk of developing PD. The investigators also reported that in controlled studies, exposure to specific chemical compounds including paraquat, a weed killer, and two fungicides, maneb and mancozeb, doubled the risk.
Are There Better Alternatives To Paraquat
The short answer is yes. There are better, greener, alternatives to paraquat and while not all of them might be as effective or as cheap, they are a lot safer for humans and the planet.
For example, in the banana industry companies used to make use of paraquat as their main herbicide, but with developing research linking paraquat to different diseases including Parkinsons, some banana growers started using non-chemical, greener methods such as mowing, covering the ground with banana leaves, and mulching.
It seems that these methods work for them which makes us wonder why other companies and farming communities cant invest and look into safer alternatives given that this is such a highly toxic chemical not fit for human use, commercial or otherwise.
Also Check: Parkinson’s Disease Research Centers
Timeline Of Research Showing The Effects Of Paraquat Exposure
Over the past 20 years, the scientific community has stepped up its examination of the effects of Paraquat exposure on humans–and specifically the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
1980s: MPTP-Parkinson’s Experiment
An experiment in Southern California revealed that MPTP, a heroin contaminant, caused users to suffer symptoms like those associated with Parkinson’s disease. The experiment showed that the heroin contaminant destroyed dopamine neurons, the same neurons that suffer damage in Parkinson’s disease patients. MPTP and Paraquat share similar chemical structures.
1997: Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA announced that exposure to Paraquat during the mixing, loading, and application of the herbicide and the post-application process represented the primary route of exposure to the chemical compound. The agency further suggested that despite the herbicide not being registered for residential use, such exposure is possible for individuals who live near farms where the herbicide is utilized.
Revealed that any exposure to Paraquat within 1,600 feet of a home resulted in a heightened Parkinson’s disease risk of 75 percent.
2011: Environmental Health Perspectives, in association with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
2014: Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
2016: Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA announced plans to re-evaluate Paraquat, including the herbicide’s potential link to Parkinson’s disease.
Paraquat Herbicide Law Firm
If you or someone you know may have been exposed to Paraquat as a farmer, farm worker, herbicide applicator, chemical mixer, tank filler, agricultural pilot, or if you lived near crops treated with the dangerous herbicide, Cory Watson Attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you need for your injuries and suffering. Call now at 877-562-0000 or fill out our free consultation form. The lawyers at Cory Watson will evaluate your case 100% free of charge.
Cory Watsons dedicated, experienced lawyers have handled thousands of dangerous chemical lawsuits for decades, and we believe you shouldnt have to pay for a companys negligence. Our legal team is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for the suffering you have gone through.
ABOUT CORY WATSON ATTORNEYS
Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama as well as Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm has recovered more than $3 billion for clients across the country. Cory Watson Attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions and multidistrict litigations involving product liability related to serious injuries from defective products and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts.
You May Like: Can Parkinson’s Symptoms Come And Go
Has Anything Changed Over Time
Since most of the studies concerning PD and rural living were done decades ago, a recent study sought to revisit this issue since farming life has changed in recent times. Pesticide use is reduced, there has been a large migration from rural to urban areas, and there is less dependence on well water in rural communities.
The new study was conducted in Finland and looked at the incidence of PD in rural versus urban areas. Interestingly, rural living remained a risk factor for PD. It is possible that current diagnoses of PD continue to reflect the environmental exposures of decades ago, and that risk reduction in rural areas due to decreased pesticide use and other changes in farming life may show more benefits in the future. However, the study suggests that we may not yet fully understand how the rural environment affects Parkinsons risk.
Specific Pesticides And Their Link To Pd
The evidence that pesticide use is associated with an increased risk in PD, begs the question are there specific pesticides that are most concerning? When data is collected on this topic in large populations, often the participants in the study are unaware of which specific pesticide exposures they have had. This makes it difficult to determine which pesticides to avoid.
Some studies however were able to investigate the risks of specific chemicals. A recent review summarized the current state of knowledge on this topic. The chemical with the most data linking it to an increased PD risk is paraquat, with exposure associated with a 2-3 fold increased PD risk over the general population.
One particularly comprehensive study investigated exposure to 31 pesticides and their association with PD risk. From that data emerged paraquat and rotenone as the two most concerning pesticides.
- Paraquats mechanism of action is the production of reactive oxygen species, intracellular molecules that cause oxidative stress and damage cells.
- Rotenones mechanism of action is disruption of the mitochondria, the component of the cell that creates energy for cell survival.
Interestingly, both mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are common themes in our general understanding of what causes death of nerve cells in PD.
Don’t Miss: How Can A Neurologist Help With Parkinson’s
Paraquat Weed Killer Found To Be Linked To Parkinsons Disease
The Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence linking exposure to paraquat dichloride, an herbicide colloquially known as paraquat, to the development of Parkinsons disease later in life, per a 2016 regulatory filing. Now, agricultural workers who have been exposed to this toxic chemical may have the right to file lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers for financial compensation.
As reported by the National Law Review, many countries have effectively banned paraquat due to its high level of toxicity. While this toxicity was previously only known in relation to its use in suicides — one sip has proven lethal time and again, per reports from The New York Times — several journals have recently published peer-reviewed studies showing a link between paraquat and Parkinsons disease. The American Journal of Epidemiology, the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are among the reputable sources that have published such findings.
Despite this research, paraquat remains legal to use in the United States — even as the same research has compelled dozens of countries around the world to ban this herbicide. Whats worse, the National Water-Quality Assessment Project reported that its use in the U.S. only doubled between 2006 and 2016.
Benomyl Blocks Brain Cell Processes
Meanwhile, researchers from UCLAs David Geffen School of Medicine found that the fungicide Benomyl will block multiple cell processes. One of these blocks the production of aldehyde dehydrogenase .
ALDH increases the dopamine metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde, which produces degeneration among neurons associated with the production of dopamine. One of the central dopamine-producing centers exists in the brain the substantia nigra located within the midbrain.
When the nerve cells located in this region die off or become otherwise deranged, they stop producing dopamine and other neurotransmitters that help control coordination and movement throughout the body. A lack of these neurotransmitters will produce the shakiness and eventual loss of coordination characteristic amongst progressed Parkinsons patients.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Test For Parkinson’s Disease
Risk Of Paraquat Poisoning
This report revealed scientific studies finding that “paraquat increases the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.” In addition, the study found a correlation between the toxic chemical and the increased risk of paraquat poisoning and oxidative stress.
In other research by the same team, farmworkers had an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease if exposed to toxic paraquat herbicides for five or more years. This toxic herbicide is widely used and often causes harmful side effects on those exposed to it. Those with Parkinson’s disease should avoid exposure at all costs.
A study conducted in New York as part of the Agricultural Health Study examined whether or not exposure to pesticides, including Paraquat, was connected to Parkinson’s disease.
The study concluded that although there was an association between using the chemical and contracting Parkinson’s disease, other factors might be contributing to this link.
However, that evidence was insufficient to implicate the dangerous chemical as the cause of Parkinson’s disease in humans.
More research is necessary to determine why farmers who use this herbicide are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Still, we know that the link exists due to animal and human studies.
This link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease should draw serious attention. In addition, farmers should consider using other pesticides that don’t have such harmful side effects.
The Ghosts Of Pesticides Past
Over the past half century, we have begun to identify the worst risks and address them. The insecticide DDT was once considered a miracle compound. In the 1930s, the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was looking for a chemical that could kill insects that were destroying crops and spreading diseasewithout harming the plants. Müller, a nature lover, tested hundreds of chemicals before coating the inside of a glass box with DDT, a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless nerve toxin. He placed houseflies into the container, and they bit the dust. Müller had found his answer.
In the 1940s DDT was considered harmless to humans and regularly sprayed on neighborhoods here children play in the sprays at the beach in New York. Even though DDT was banned half a century ago, it persists in the environmentand in our food supply. It becomes more concentrated as it makes its way up the chain to human consumption. The pesticide is then stored in fatty tissues, including the brain. DDT has been linked to Parkinsons disease. Because of the widespread use of the pesticide, DDT and its breakdown products are detectable in nearly everyone in the United States. It has also been found in the breast milk of women living in Spain, Nicaragua, Taiwan, and the Spanish Canary Islands as recently as 2014.
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
We eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains every day that have been doused in pesticides. What kind of risk are we all exposed to? We do not know.
Read Also: Dopamine Drugs For Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s Disease Is Often Misdiagnosed
Regardless of the cause, Parkinsons disease is often misdiagnosed, as the symptoms of this brain disorder mimic those of other similar conditions.
According to surveys, up to 30% of people who struggle with Parkinsons disease initially receive a wrong diagnosis. In other words, 1 in 4 individuals with this brain disorder are misdiagnosed.
For this reason, seeking a second and even a third opinion from different medical specialists is crucial if you have a history of paraquat exposure, as Parkinsons disease is the only diagnosis for which you can file a paraquat claim. Nevertheless, because people with this condition are usually unaware of their symptoms, their family members need to keep a close eye on their health and look out for the symptoms of this brain disorder. The conditions Parkinsons disease is most frequently mistaken for are the following:
Did Paraquat Cause Your Parkinsons Disease
If you were exposed to Paraquat and later developed Parkinsons disease, you may be entitled to compensation.
Syngenta and other manufacturers of Paraquat-based weed killers have experienced legal teams on their side to do everything they can to avoid liability for potentially dangerous products like Paraquat.
You deserve to have an experienced legal team on your side, too.
Who is at Risk for Paraquat Exposure?
Those at increased risk of exposure to Paraquat and potential Parkinsons disease include:
- Loaders, mixers, and handlers of Paraquat
- Pesticide / herbicide applicators, including:
- Applicators using handled or backpack sprayers
- Applicators driving tractors equipped to spray pesticides and herbicides
- Agricultural pilots
What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that has no cure. People with Parkinson’s, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, may experience a range of symptoms that develop gradually over time. Symptoms include:
- Tremors in the arms and legs
- Difficulty with coordination and balance
Paraquat Exposure And Parkinsons Disease
According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, studies have linked an increased risk of Parkinsons disease in people who were exposed to a rural environment at an early age including:
- People exposed to farm animals
- People who live on farms
- People with known exposure to pesticides
- People who drink well water
- People who live in a rural area
These studies go on to suggest that the uniting factor in these occurrences of Parkinsons disease with people living in rural areas can be traced to exposure to pesticides. In a study of these pesticides, Paraquat was shown to have one of the strongest associations with causing the development of known mechanisms linked to the pathology of Parkinsons disease.
To see if you qualify for a Paraquat lawsuit, call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE consultation and claim investigation.
We are committed to seeking justice for those whose Parkinsons disease was potentially caused by Paraquat.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to Paraquat and developed Parkinsons disease, call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE review of your case to see if you may qualify for a Paraquat lawsuit.
This settlement changed me and my familys lives.
Linda B., Riddle & Brantley client
Read Also: What Causes Stooped Posture In Parkinson’s