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Neurotoxicological Effects

Exposure to pesticides has been linked to a variety of disorders that negatively affect the nervous system, including the brain and spine (neurological disorders). These disorders range in intensity from headaches and nausea, to depression, to debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's. The following studies demonstrate the relationship between pesticide exposure and these medical issues.

Article 1
Kamel, Freya, Lawrence S. Engel, Beth C. Gladen, Jane A. Hoppin, Michael C. R. Alavanja, and Dale P. Sandler. "Neurologic Symptoms in Licensed Private Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study." Environmental Health Perspectives 113.7 (2005): 877-82.

Summary of Article 1
This study examines the incidence of neurological symptoms such as depression, headaches, difficulty speaking, and nausea in pesticide applicators. Researchers discovered that pesticide applicators exposed to moderate levels of pesticides experienced higher levels of these neurological symptoms. They also discovered that applicators who had stopped working and were no longer directly exposed to pesticides continued to show the same symptoms, suggesting that the symptoms are chronic and long lasting.

Article 2
_Beseler, Cheryl L., Lorann Stallones, Jane A. Hoppin, Michael C. R. Alavanja, Thomas Keefe, and Freya Kamel. "Depression and Pesticide Exposures among Private Pesticide Applicators Enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study." Environmental Health Perspectives 116.12 (2008): 1713-719._

Summary of Article 2
This study evaluates the relationship between pesticide exposure among farm workers and physician-diagnosed depression in the states of North Carolina and Iowa. Farmers from the two states filled out detailed questionnaires about the number of days of pesticide exposure, the number of years spent working on a farm, diagnosed pesticide poisonings, and diagnosed depression. Based on the answers provided, the researchers were able to conclude that a significant relationship exists between diagnosed depression and pesticide exposure. Farmers who had been exposed to pesticides over a long period of time or had experienced a high pesticide exposure event or pesticide poisoning were found to have increased rates of depression. This relationship was found regardless of whether farmers had followed guidelines for safe handling of the pesticides.

Article 3
Brown, Terry P., Paul C. Rumsby, Alexander C. Capleton, Leonard S. Levy, and Lesley Rushton. "Pesticides and Parkinson's Disease-Is There a Link?T." Environmental Health Perspectives 114.2 (2006): 156-64.

Summary of Article 3
This study explores the association between pesticide use and Parkinson's disease. The researchers reviewed past research on this topic, examining the issue from epidemiological and toxicological viewpoints. They concluded that the studies suggest a pattern that ties exposure to pesticides, especially over extended periods of time, to the development of Parkinson's. They note that particular active ingredients in pesticides may be a direct cause of the disease. More research is necessary and should be done on pesticides that may cause Parkinson's.

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