Study Links Parkinson’s Onset in Rocky Mountain Area to Agricultural Pesticides

Preliminary research has found that herbicides and pesticides used in farming may be associated with Parkinson’s disease. For their research, the investigators reviewed records from more than 20 million individuals obtained from Medicare.

The objective of the researchers was to calculate the rate of Parkinson’s disease for different regions in the country. They also examined possible links between the use of more than 60 pesticides and rates of Parkinson’s disease.

The author of the study, Brittany Krzyzanowski, explained that the team of investigators utilized geographic techniques to study the disorder’s rates then compared their findings to regional levels of herbicide and pesticide use.  She added that these techniques allowed them to identify areas across America where there was a link between Parkinson’s disease and high pesticide use.

The investigators observed that the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain region, which includes parts of Idaho, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas and South Dakota, had the strongest link, noting that the researchers identified 14 pesticides linked to Parkinson’s disease. The herbicides and pesticides identified included atrazine, lindane and simazine.

The investigators discovered that individuals living in regions that used a lot of simazine had a 36% higher likelihood of developing Parkinson’s in comparison to those living in regions with low applications of the herbicide. For lindane, an insecticide, they determined that those with the highest exposure were 25% more likely to have Parkinson’s. In addition, the investigators determined that individuals with the most exposure to the herbicide atrazine were about 30% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Their findings remained unchanged when the investigators adjusted for factors that could influence the risk of developing the disorder, including exposure to air pollution.

In their report, Krzyzanowski highlighted that it was concerning that prior research had identified other herbicides and pesticides as possible risk factors for Parkinson’s and yet many pesticides hadn’t been studied for any link to the disease. The researchers recommended that more studies be conducted to ascertain these links and inform ways to reduce the risk of this illness by decreasing the use of these pesticides.

One of the study’s limitations included the fact that it relied on estimates at the county level as data on exposure to pesticides at the personal level wasn’t available.

This research was supported by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The research’s findings will be presented later in April at this year’s meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Efforts are underway by companies such as Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) to develop effective treatments that can provide better clinical outcomes to the unfortunate people who are diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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