Parkinson's Linked to Past Pesticide Exposure

Not only do present-day pesticides harm you and increase your risks of Parkinson's disease, so does previous exposure to low levels of banned chemicals -- DDT and dieldrin -- that still hang around in our soil, putting more Americans than ever at risk and earlier than expected, according to new studies.

Based on comparisons of Parkinson's patients and those who didn't have the degenerative disease, the brain tissue of Parkinson's sufferers contained three times more dieldrin and high levels of a chemical by-product of DDT.

More research showed the devastating effects of small amounts of dieldrin on the brains of mice. Dieldrin alone boosted the activity of free radicals, not only increasing the amount of brain damage after just a month, but harming the cells that produce dopamine a key Parkinson's catalyst.

Things you can do today to reduce further exposure to pesticides and potentially lower your Parkinson's risks:

USA Today September 18, 2006

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