Volume 1, Issue 2
September 18, 2008

Preventing Parkinson's disease may be easier than you think

Most people, including many doctors, think that Parkinson's disease is genetic. "You are programmed to get it," they say, "and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. But that theory just doesn't fit the facts.

For one, if a disease is genetic, then the rate of the disease will stay static over time, because genetics don't change. However, the rate of Parkinson's disease has been steadily increasing over the past 50 years. So something other than genetics must be at play.

A new study shows what that might be. It's toxicity. Particularly toxicity from the use of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. The very kind that many people regularly use in their homes and gardens. The same kinds that are all over those non-organic foods we buy.

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In the study, researchers questioned 319 patients with Parkinson's disease for their exposure to pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Then they compared them to 296 relatives without the disease. They asked the study participants: "Have you ever applied pesticides to kill weeds, insects, or fungus at work, in your home, in your garden, or on your lawn?"

If the answer was "yes," they asked them several other questions. These include: can you remember the names of the products, how often did you use them, and do you currently use it, among others.

The results were startling. Overall, those with Parkinson's disease were 61% more likely to use the chemicals regularly than their unaffected relatives.

Not only that, the greater the exposure to these toxins, the higher the chance of getting Parkinson's.

Interestingly, there were Parkinson's disease patients who never had direct exposure to these toxins. This leads to several possible conclusions:

(1) There may be other toxins that add to and increase the dangerous effect of pesticides.

(2)ÿ There may be some people who are so sensitive to pesticides that they can develop Parkinson's disease from even the very low levels in non-organically grown foods.

(3)ÿ There may be two kinds of Parkinson's disease. One kind that's very genetically influenced. And another kind that's caused by toxin exposure. It's even possible that all three of these explanations are true.

The good news is that by eliminating your use of pesticides and herbicides, you can reduce your risk of getting Parkinson's disease by more than 50%. And eating organic will make a huge difference as well. I'll have more on how to remove toxins in coming articles. Stay tuned!

Finding your real cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REFS: Dana B Hancock DB, Martin ER, et al. Pesticide exposure and risk of Parkinson's disease: a family-based case-control Study. BMC Neurology 2008, 8:6 doi:10.1186/1471-2377-8-6.


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