Scientists are finding more and more evidence that one likely cause of Parkinson's disease is toxins in the environment.
Dr. William Langston of the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California, says a study of 14,000 pairs of twins indicates that the environment played a larger role than genetics in determining who would eventually develop signs of Parkinson's and at the institute, their studies are pointing to certain pesticides that may be to blame for changes in the brain.
"There are specific pesticides such as paraquat that have been widely used in the environment that have been shown to induce some of the changes in the brain of experimental animals that are similar to Parkinson's. Another one called Rotenone reproduces many of the aspects of Parkinson's disease in laboratory animals," says neurologist Dr. Langston.
Dr. Langston says Rotenone has been used in more than 6,000 over-the-counter products in the United States. Meanwhile, in California, a bill was recently passed to start a Parkinson's disease registry in an effort to help researchers track all the Parkinson's cases which might be geographically linked to a toxin in that area.