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News2009September › Gardeners face a three-fold increased risk of Parkinson's › September 2009

Gardeners face a three-fold increased risk of Parkinson's

Gardening may be good for you - but only if you don't use pesticides on the weeds

Gardening may be good for you - but only if you don't use pesticides on the weeds. They increase your chances of developing Parkinson's disease three-fold.

Most common pesticides include compounds such as paraquat, a herbicide, permethrin, an insecticide, and an organochloride known as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Each of the compounds increases the risk of Parkinson's, a research team from the Parkinson's Institute in California has discovered.

The researchers made the discovery after studying the lifestyles of 519 patients with Parkinson's, and compared those with 511 healthy people. Of the Parkinson's sufferers, 44 - or 8.5 per cent - had been exposed to pesticides, either through their occupations or because they were keen gardeners.

(Source: Archives of Neurology, 2009; 66: 1106-13).


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