Mayo Clinic has written Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system which affects your movement. This disease develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. While tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson's disease, this disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. In the early stages of Parkinson's disease, your face may show little or no expression, and your arms may not swing when you walk. Also, your speech may become soft or slurred. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease worsen as your condition progresses over time. Although this disease can't be cured, treatment may markedly improve your symptoms.
In a press release on Jan. 3, 2013, Mark Wheeler has reported for the UCLA newsroom, Pesticides and Parkinson's: UCLA researchers uncover further proof of a link. Neurologists at UCLA have been building a case for years that a link exists between pesticides and Parkinson's disease. Paraquat, maneb and ziram, which are common chemicals sprayed in California's Central Valley and elsewhere, have been associated with increases in the disease, not only among farmworkers but also in individuals who simply lived or worked near fields and who may have inhaled drifting particles.
UCLA researchers have now discovered a link between Parkinson's and another pesticide, which is called benomyl. The toxicological effects of benomyl still linger about 10 years after the chemical was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The researchers say benomyl exposure starts a cascade of cellular events that may lead to Parkinson's. This pesticide prevents an enzyme called ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) from keeping a lid on DOPAL, which is a toxin that naturally occurs in the brain. When it is left unchecked by ALDH, DOPAL accumulates, resulting in damage to neurons and increases an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's. Benomyl was widely used in the U.S. for several decades prior to the time toxicological evidence revealed it could potentially lead to liver tumors, brain malformations, reproductive effects and carcinogenesis. Benomyl was banned in 2001.