Washington: More and
more pesticides are being linked with the rising incidence of
Parkinson's among farm workers and those who live near croplands,
according to a research.
Parkinson's is a disease that afflicts those over 50 years, which
destroys brain cells producing dopamine. It is characterized by
sowing of movement, partial facial paralysis, peculiarity of gait
and posture, and weakness.
Now, University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers
have discovered a link between Parkinson's and another pesticide,
benomyl, whose toxicological effects still linger some 10 years
after the chemical was banned by US Environmental Protection
Agency, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of
Even more significantly, the research suggests that the damaging
series of events set in motion by benomyl may also occur in people
with Parkinson's disease who were never exposed to the pesticide,
said Jeff Bronstein, senior study author and professor of
neurology at UCLA and colleagues.
Benomyl exposure, they say, starts a cascade of cellular events
that may lead to Parkinson's.
The pesticide prevents an enzyme called ALDH (aldehyde
dehydrogenase) from keeping a lid on DOPAL, a toxin that naturally
occurs in the brain, according to an UCLA statement.
When left unchecked by ALDH, DOPAL accumulates, damages neurons
and increases an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's.
The investigators believe their findings concerning benomyl may be
generalized to all Parkinson's patients.
Developing new drugs to protect ALDH activity, they say, may
eventually help slow the progression of the disease, whether or
not an individual has been exposed to pesticides.