By Julia Cameron • 08 May 2023 • 12:13
Research suggests that taking illicit drugs could cause Parkinson’s.
Credit; Andrus Ciprian/Shutterstock.com
Drugs are known to influence the production of Dopamine and lack of dopamine can cause Parkinson’s symptoms.
Dopamine and Parkinson’s are linked because the disease is caused by the death of nerve cells that are responsible for producing dopamine.
This chemical is in turn responsible for the nervous system and the parts of the body that control movement. When there is a lack of dopamine the body produces tremors, slow movements impaired balance, stiffness, and changes in the way a person speaks and writes.
Cocaine is one drug that has been shown to impair the brain’s dopamine transporter and this causes abnormal concentrations of the chemical.
Research reported in the Science Daily highlighted the fact that adults who abuse cocaine might increase their risk of developing Parkinson’s and pregnant women who take cocaine could increase the risk of their children getting Parkinson’s.
Amphetamines and methamphetamine use can also increase the risk of Parkinson’s although there are legal varieties of these types of drugs which are used to control ADHD and narcolepsy, a condition where you can’t stay awake.
There are other common chemicals that may also cause Parkinson’s. These include Trichloroethylene which is found in cleaning products, aerosol sprays and carpet cleaners. Lead in old paint is also a chemical that’s harmful to health.
Another dangerous chemical is Paraquat, which is used as a weed killer.
The Michael J Fox Foundation has confirmed that Paraquat can increase the risk of Parkinson’s by 100 to 500 per cent.
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Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.
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