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Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system mainly affecting the motor system. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, and depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson's disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50; when it is seen in young adults, it is called young onset PD.

  • A study showed that smokers have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease
  • Consumption of milk tainted with pesticide heptachlor epoxide at a young age showed signs of Parkinson's disease

Research on Parkinson's disease

Milk tainted with a pesticide more likely to develop signs of Parkinson's disease

A new study in December 2015 suggested that men who drank milk that may have been tainted with pesticide called heptachlor epoxide when they were young are more likely to develop signs of Parkinson's disease. The pesticide was found at high levels in early 1980s in Hawaii. The pesticide which was banned in the United States around the same time was used in the pineapple industry and was also found in well water. The study included 450 Japanese-American men living in Hawaii. The average age was 54. All of the men took part in an aging study and were followed for more than 30 years. After their deaths, autopsies were conducted. The current study only shows an association between the pesticide and Parkinson's disease. It can't prove that the pesticide or milk consumption directly causes Parkinson's disease. The study also pointed out that they don't know for sure if the milk consumed by these men had heptachlor epoxide in it or not. Here are some of the highlights of the study.

  • Study included 450 Japanese-American men living in Hawaii
  • Average age was 54
  • All of the men took part in an aging study and were followed for more than 30 years
  • Autopsies were conducted after their deaths
  • Compared to nonsmokers who drank less than two cups of milk a day, nonsmokers who drank more than two cups of milk a day had 50 percent fewer cells in a certain area of brain. The loss of cells in that particular area of brain occurs in Parkinson's disease. Changes in that area of the brain can begin decades before people have any symptoms of the disease
  • No link was found between milk consumption and brain cell loss in smokers


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