News of the WeekNeuroscience

Pesticide Causes Parkinson's in Rats

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Science  10 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5494, pp. 1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5494.1068a

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A widely used pesticide causes a syndrome in rats that looks, both behaviorally and neurologically, very much like Parkinson's disease. This new finding supports tentative epidemiological data suggesting that pesticide exposure increases a person's risk of developing the disease, which afflicts about 1 million people in the United States and is characterized by tremors, slowness, and a loss of balance. It also gives Parkinson's researchers their best model system yet for investigating how and why the disease strikes.