A South Korean study showed that a higher concentration of nitrogen dioxide is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Nitrogen dioxide, for example, ends up in the air through exhaust gases and emissions from power plants.
The researchers followed nearly 80,000 people in their forties who lived in Seoul from 2002 to 2006. Between 2007 and 2015, more than 300 participants were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers investigated exactly where these participants lived and how there was air pollution. They concluded that residents living in the most polluted areas were 40 percent more likely to develop the brain disorder than residents in the least polluted areas. For a number of other air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, ozone, and nitrogen diode, the scientists were unable to find a link to Parkinson’s disease. Researchers do not yet know exactly how nitrogen dioxide contributes to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Some American scientists find it surprising that other air pollutants cannot be linked to Parkinson’s disease. at a They write that while the study findings add to the growing evidence of the link between Parkinson’s disease and air pollution, and that nitrogen dioxide certainly plays a role, there are a number of difficulties in proving the link between Parkinson’s disease and potential others. . According to Americans, it is difficult to measure individual differences within the same regions. For example, the Koreans did not take measurements indoors or at work that might be in another area. In addition, Americans believe that the research should have taken longer, because it takes so long for the disease to develop, and it is difficult to reliably diagnose all new cases of Parkinson’s disease.
Neurology professor Bas Blume (Radbodomic), who was not involved in the study, was positive about the study. “Parkinson’s disease is now the fastest growing brain disorder in the world,” he explains. The disease was first described in 1817 in London, during the Industrial Revolution, and in China the number of cases of Parkinson’s disease is increasing tremendously. This is where the Industrial Revolution is now taking place. These are all strong indicators of a link between Parkinson’s disease and air pollution.
According to Bloem, the study from South Korea adds to the growing evidence of a link between air pollution and Parkinson’s disease. Whether nitrous oxide is the culprit then needs to be investigated further. But the study shows that we owe ourselves a large part of the increase in the number of Parkinson’s cases. Obviously, where you live partly determines your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
He himself researches the link between Parkinson’s disease and pesticide exposure. He wants to know where Parkinson’s disease often occurs in the Netherlands, among other things to reduce the use of pesticides. “We now know from research that farmers get Parkinson’s disease more often because they frequently handle pesticides.”
“You can actually compare Parkinson’s patients with canaries in coal mines – if they stop singing, the air is polluted and the miners have to leave,” Bloom continues. “We are now massively polluting the air.”
The good news, according to Bloem, is that we can prevent Parkinson’s disease by reducing the pollution of our environment. Both are by tackling pesticide use and air pollution.
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