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Study at Sunnyvale Institute Links Common Pesticides to Parkinsonís Disease
Two commonly used pesticides, rotenone and paraquat, have been strongly linked to Parkinsonís disease.
 
Published Monday, February 14, 2011 4:00 am

Two commonly used pesticides, rotenone and paraquat, have been strongly linked to Parkinsonís disease, according to a study published online by the Parkinsonís Institute in Sunnyvale, California, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  Click here to view NIH Press Release

As reported online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the study explored the relationship of Parkinsonís risk to use of rotenone, paraquat, and 30 other pesticides with similar toxic mechanisms.  People who had used either rotenone or paraquat were two and a half times more likely to have Parkinsonís disease.

 ďThe current study helps connect the dots between basic laboratory research and human populations,Ē said Dr. Samuel Goldman from the Parkinsonís Institute. 

This work, and other discoveries by the Parkinsonís Institute, may provide a basis for therapeutic intervention or prevention of this disease that affects a million people in the United States.

The potential for exposure to these and other pesticides with similar toxic mechanims extends well beyond an agricultural setting. Many persons with pesticide exposures may be unaware of the presence of pesticides in their environments.  Paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide, used on crops ranging from cotton to potatoes and for landscaping weed control.  Rotenone, a plant-derived pesticide, has been used as a household insecticide, in home gardening, in agriculture and to kill fish.

Dr. Caroline M. Tanner from the Parkinsonís Institute in Sunnyvale, California, and Dr. Freya Kamel at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina led the team of investigators.

About Parkinsonís Disease
Approximately 1 million Americans are affected with PD, a common progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes significant disability and adds financial burden to our health care system. It is estimated that the number of PD cases will double by the year 2030. Identification of the causes of PD, more effective treatments, and, ultimately, ways to prevent or cure the disease are the focus of the Parkinsonís Institute and Clinical Center.

About the Parkinsonís Institute and Clinical Center
Founded in 1988, The Parkinsonís Institute and Clinical Center is Americaís only independent non-profit organization that provides basic and clinical research, clinical trials, and a comprehensive movement disorder patient clinic for PD and related neurological movement disorders, all under one roof. Its mission is to find the causes of PD, provide first class patient care and discover a cure. This unique organization supports strong collaboration in translational medicine designed to more directly connect research to patient care Ė from "bench to bedside".

For more information, please visit www.thepi.org or call 408.734.2800
Contact:     Mary Tunison 
        Development Director
        The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center       
        mtunison@thepi.org


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