New research shows that exposure to eleven common, low-level pesticides may increase a person’s risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. Exposure can inhibit an enzyme in the body called ALDH. This enzyme normally protects the nerve cells that produce dopamine (an important neurotransmitter involved in motor control) from potentially harmful organic substances called aldehydes. If ALDH is blocked and dopamine production is interrupted, then the resulting loss of motor control (muscle function) could possibly lead to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
The University of California, Los Angeles, January 2014