Environmental factors and Parkinson's disease: a case-control study in the Tuscany region of Italy.Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2004 Dec; 10(8):481-5.PR
To date the aetiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unknown although both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors appear to play an important role in the development of the disease. Recent data have also indicated that chronic exposure to a common pesticide can reproduce the neurochemical, behavioral and neuropathological features of PD. The epidemiological studies previously carried on the prevalence of PD in population exposed to environmental factors have produced controversial results, probably because of different trial design and different analysis methods. A case-control retrospective study was conducted in a well-defined geographic area in Tuscany-Italy with the aim to identify environmental factors possibly related to PD. No significant difference between PD patients and control subjects was observed in time spent in rural or industrial residence, in well water drinking and in the exposure to herbicides and pesticides. A significant difference between patients with PD and controls was reported for cigarette smoking, controls resulting more likely cigarette smokers in comparison with PD patients. The present findings support the view of a protective effect of cigarette smoking and do not show any significant association between environmental factors and the risk of development of PD.