Use of pesticides, particularly to kill bugs or weeds at work or at home, may raise the risk of Parkinson’s disease in men, says a study.
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that affects the control of muscles and so may affect movement, speech and posture.
Mayo Clinic researchers Roberta Frigerio and others studied 149 patients who developed Parkinson’s disease between 1976 and 1995.
Men who use pesticides to kill bugs or weeds – either at work or at home – may have doubled the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease, the researchers said in a study in the June issue of the journal Movement Disorders.
However, women exposed to pesticides do not face such risk, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.
“There is something biologically different between men and women when exposed to pesticides,” a researcher said.
“The risk was 2.4-fold more than a doubling of the risk in unexposed men,” the researcher said.
But when the researchers looked only at men with occupational exposures such as farmers, they did not find a link to Parkinson’s disease.
But when they included men exposed to pesticides via hobbies such as gardening, the link became apparent.