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Study says brain injuries, herbicides linked to Parkinson's

The media has made people living in Ohio and other states readily aware of Parkinson's disease. The condition is one that has a large amount of media coverage but not enough scientific data to determine its true cause. Many researchers have worked on studies in an attempt to connect the dots and pinpoint the instigators of the detrimental disease that causes individuals to lose coordination and have tremors.

According to a recent study, a person that has sustained a brain injury is more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's than someone that has not-specifically, those people that experienced a head injury and lost consciousness for more than five minutes have an increased likelihood of contracting the condition. Researchers at UCLA surveyed 1,000 adults over the age of 35. Of those adults, more than 350 were diagnosed with Parkinson's.

The study found that participants with the study that had been diagnosed with Parkinson's were twice as likely to report a head injury. Researchers also considered the effects of where these individuals lived. According to the study, the people with Parkinson's were more likely to live within 500 meters of a spot where the herbicide paraquat was used. The herbicide is widely used by people seeking to control weeds and plants.

This means that individuals who are exposed to situations that may cause brain injuries-falls, slips and car accidents, to name a few circumstances-or herbicides while on the job could be increasing their chances of having Parkinson's in the future. Researchers from the study said that evidence was not clear enough to suggest that these factors are causes, but there is certainly a link between the three. According to the lead author of the study, combining the two factors creates a higher risk than simply adding the risks from each factor alone together-this underscores their connection.

Source: ABC News, "Head Injury, Herbicide, Linked to Parkinson's Disease in Survey," Lara Salahi, Nov. 13, 2012

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