People exposed to pesticides ran a 1.6 times higher risk of developing the neurological disease Parkinson’s, reports a new study of 600 participants. "Recreational pesticide use in the home and garden was more of a source of exposure than occupational use,” says one researcher. Experts now say the link is highly likely, though in combination with other, largely genetic factors, reports the BBC.
Several genetic mutations have already been identified as key players, but these are thought to be rare and to account for only a small percent of people with Parkinson’s, which affects movement and speech. Still, in a separate survey of 10,000 patients, only one in 10 had long-term pesticide exposure. (Read more Parkinson's disease stories.)