Another Danger of Pesticides

Pesticide exposure possibly tied to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Environmental toxins, such as certain pesticides, may be tied to an increased risk for a serious neurodegenerative disease, a new study found.

This University of Michigan study found that exposure to pesticides may be tied to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a rare, progressive and fatal disease that affects the nervous system. ALS is marked by reduced physical function and strength and eventually leads to the inability to control the muscles needed for breathing. There is no cure for ALS. It is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

This study looked at a couple of hundred people in Michigan. The data revealed an association between pesticide exposure and ALS.

The data results may not extend to other populations, these researchers noted. The study authors called for further research into the effects of pesticides and safer alternatives to these chemicals, which are used to keep insects away from plants and crops.

This study was published May 9 in the journal JAMA Neurology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and National Center for Research Resources funded this study. Researchers disclosed multiple potential conflicts of interest, most of which involved grant funding from health and environmental agencies.

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Review Date: 
May 9, 2016
Last Updated:
May 11, 2016