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Environmental neurotoxins in Parkinson's disease

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Efforts to understand the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease have for four decades concentrated on the detection of environmental neurotoxins which could account for the degeneration of the substantia nigra. Particular interest has arisen since the description of Parkinsonism following administration of N-methyl-4-phenyl- 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), a drug of abuse, by young people (1).

Exposure to certain chemicals, for example organochlorines and alkylated phosphates, has been shown to be a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (1) but the majority of cases of Parkinson's disease remain inexplicable on the basis of environmental causation.

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