Farming and living in rural areas (more specifically being exposed to chemicals used to prevent pests) has often been linked to Parkinson’s disease. The findings of studies uphold this link - see further.

A few weeks ago, some researchers published interesting new results that further supports the association between exposure to pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. 

They assessed the influence of occupational pesticide use on the prevalence of Parkinson's Disease in people, with information available concerning occupational, residential and household sources of pesticide exposure.

The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease increased by 110% to 211% if somebody had ever had occupational use of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. Using any pesticide occupationally for more than 10 years doubled the risk of Parkinson's Disease compared with those people that had no occupational pesticide use.

It should be noted that the majority of the farming community do not go on to develop Parkinson’s disease, therefore additional aspects, both endogenous and exogenous, play an influence here. But the study helps explain how factors in some people's environments may increase risk of developing Parkinson’s and opens the door for potential ways to mitigate that risk, including reduced exposure to pesticides and development of drugs that target the underlying mechanisms that contribute to risk.

But given the results of this and other trials, it will be interesting to see if over time there is any decrease in the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease with the heightened awareness surrounding the use of these chemicals. 

Source and further reading: