Parkinson's related to genetics

Dr. R. H. Myers, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues, released results of a study looking at genetic factors for Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's results in a loss of dopamine in the brain, causing the characteristic tremors and coordination problems. Experts have yet to pinpoint the exact cause, though environmental factors, including pesticides, are often blamed.

In the study, the investigators examined over 200 pairs of siblings with Parkinson's disease, asking them about exposures to pesticides and pollutants, in addition to their family history for the disease, lifestyle and diet. Incidence of the disease did not vary due to gender or exposure to coffee, alcohol or pesticides. Nor did spouses of Parkinson's sufferers show an elevated risk.

In their paper, the scientists note that, "The hypothesis that common residential exposures in adult life, such as fumigation, pesticide exposure or well-water consumption, play a significant role in causing Parkinson's disease is not consistent with the absence of increased risk to spouses.''

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