Causes of Parkinson's Disease: Exposure to... - Cure Parkinson's

Cure Parkinson's

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Causes of Parkinson's Disease

Grumpy77 profile image

Exposure to toxins

Very traumatic and stressful childhood (and PTSD)

Physical head injury (Muhammed Ali)

Lack of physical exercises for extended periods of time

Poor diet for long periods of time

Confusing your biological system eg doing unnatural things for long periods of time

Any of the above can be to the source of PD, but a combination of some or all the above can result in very aggressive PD

Edit:: genetics- gene inheritance

89 Replies

I consider heavy drug use (including pharmaceutical and alcohol) to fall under the category exposure to toxins.

Strangely though from what I understand, alcohol helps slow the progression of PD, and drugs such as cannabis also slows down PD progression or at least suppresses tremors

I’ve read about some of these opinions and they are right to conclude that cannabis and alcohol do address some symptoms but we cannot afford to be confused about this, drugs including alcohol cause sometimes irreversible damage on the brain.

Smittybear7 profile image
Smittybear7 in reply to Grumpy77

What kind of cannabis and where can you get it? Does it eliminate tremors?

Ernie, very interesting! A doctor at a renowned Bay Area hospital incredulously asked me if I had a drug abuse history.

Turns out that her husband had been a key member of the team that investigated the tainted drugs incident in 1982! We had gone there for an unrelated foot injury.

The expectant, quizzical look on my wife's face was priceless🤣

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to pdpatient

Very interesting. No mention of mucuna pruriens as an alternative to chemicals.

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to bepo

Bepo. I don't understand your response. What did Mucuna Pruriens have to do with this conversation? We are talking about causes of Parkinson's condition.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to pdpatient

Sorry , I guess I posted my reply in the wrong place. :)


I wonder if age is a variable that is independent to environmental influences?

I.e are most PWP older than 65 because that's how long it generally takes to accumulate the required toxin exposure or is there some other age dependant variable that has nothing to do with accumulated toxin exposure?

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to

Very good point. Age is definitely a factor, since statistically the chances of people under 35 developing PD dwindles to zero despite that young people and children are equally exposed to all the root causes of PD

Perhaps the reason PD doesn't show up in young people is because normal be age related neurological deterioration has not progressed enough for PD symptoms to be exposed

in reply to Grumpy77

Well put. I also think the definition of toxin needs be very broad. PD has been observed for at least 200 years and likely an awful lot longer, which means all the modern pesticides and diesel fuel and all the other contemporary stuff that people like to blame can't be solely responsible.

Perhaps the genetic defficiences some of us have mean that that certain people will develop PD as a result of exposure to otherwise fairly innocuous substances?

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to

How about drinking beer or mead out of lead cups?

Netgayns profile image
Netgayns in reply to

James Parkinson first observed people with the condition during the industrial revolution. He was in London - think of the London smog.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to Netgayns

And pewter with lead dishes.

redread profile image
redread in reply to

Genetic predisposition is being discussed in the social media groups that I follow. I am now leaning more to medical professionals who believe differently after being part of a traditional medical system that refuses to focus on causes rather than pharmaceuticals. Dr. Zach Bush, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Brooke Goldner.

Cagey84 profile image
Cagey84 in reply to redread

There are very clear and well established causes of PD with inherited mutations in genes such as GBA, LRRK2 and PINK.

redread profile image
redread in reply to Cagey84

I'm sure there are

Juliegrace profile image
Juliegrace in reply to Grumpy77

PD does show up in young people. We have several members here in their 30s and, at least, two in their 20s.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to Juliegrace

This a surprise to me and scary, which brings the question- what's the longest years one can live with PD?

Do people who get PD that young live into their 70s? I mean can people live with PD for up to 40 years? And what's the quality of life to be expected?

Juliegrace profile image
Juliegrace in reply to Grumpy77

I don't know the statistics on very early onset. Michael J. Fox was either diagnosed at 34 or that's when his symptoms started. He is now 58 or 59. My symptoms started at 47 and I am 59. I struggle with some things, but overall I think my quality of life is pretty good.

Grumpy. Very interesting list. Can you please cite sources? Quite a few of those apply to me🥵

park_bear profile image
park_bear in reply to pdpatient

Regarding toxins, I cite some sources in my writing here:

Parkinson's and Pesticides

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to park_bear

Thanks, Parkbear!

AmyLindy profile image
AmyLindy in reply to park_bear

Very nice article ;

well referenced , too!

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to pdpatient

When you search for research papers on this subject, the papers you find do not discuss the subject at lifestyle level but at the biological level... such as

"Parkinson's disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body."

To come up with lifestyle level causes of PD I had to talk to a few PwP, observe my own past and even hoping through this thread I would be able to add more causes or consolidate on the ones I have come up with

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Grumpy77

Grumpy, I had a terrible childhood with enormous stress, depression and very bad OCD all at the age of 13. I was nearly killed in an ethnic riot when an IED failed to explode. The morning after the riot, I saw a beheaded body in my neighbors backyard.

I was also relentlessly bullied in middle school, high school and even college.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD now based on my childhood experiences. However, I was unaware that I could have gotten Parkinson's because of that.

It's another possibility to consider.

Astra7 profile image
Astra7 in reply to pdpatient

Where did you grow up?

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Astra7


bepo profile image
bepo in reply to pdpatient

What a terrible life. You sound strong, now!

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to bepo

Thanks Bepo. I have progressed through life at great cost, now it seems.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to pdpatient

This works for us. Everyday find 2 things you are grateful for, and let someone else know.

There was a therapy for PTSD that I was aware of many years ago. It's called EMDR. The Department of Defense in the US was using it several years ago. I assume they still are. I read a lot about it and actually saw a psychologist so I could experience it first hand.

Wow 😳 thanks for sharing you’re an exceptional person.

Thank you Ernie. I guess I got a little bit lucky for some portion of my life.

I was a heavy drug user for over 20 years (including heroin). Heroin and some other drugs are sources of External dopamine Therefore the brain stops producing it while the addict is using but then the addict stops using and the brain goes back to production again. My take on this is that I was spared death from such long term drug use as many other also are without getting Parkinson’s, I was just fortunate to get Parkinson’s and not something worse is how I’ve come to look at it. I was also a heavy construction worker all my life and so exposed to toxins sometimes at a refinery, sewer systems, and site remediation projects etc.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to Erniediaz1018

Yikes. That's a lot of toxins. Can you find a way to sweat them out?

Erniediaz1018 profile image
Erniediaz1018 in reply to bepo


Ernie, bottom line is that we have to come to terms with the disease somehow. Many people have asked me how does it matter how I contracted the disease.

I have told them that I need to find out if it was due to reasons in my past or due to continuing behavior and habits. It matters because the right answer might mean the difference between slow progression or fast progression.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to pdpatient

I think the best course of action is to find the cause, if you can. With my husband, it is toxins. We are working very hard to get rid of the toxins.

in reply to bepo

Finding the cause is effectively impossible. There is no single known cause besides MPTP.

Plenty of people (most) that were exposed to Agent Orange didn't develop Parkinson's. Plenty of people with Parkinson's have no known contact with a chemical like agent Orange. The truth is that you've no way of knowing whether Agent Orange caused his PD.

Not that it matters. Sweating the toxins out after a PD diagnosis isn't going to help (exercise does help, but for other reasons).

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to

I beg to differ. Saunas are recommended for PD patients, because theycause you to sweat! Toxins come out in the sweat.

The toxins could be from amalgam fillings, soldiering. welding, glyphosphate , not eating organic and ingesting GMO's, deet, bug spray, root canals, using pesticides, exposure to lead paint,etc.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to

I guess it depends on how much agent orange one was exposed to. I have not read how many who were exposed to agent orange and did not get PD.

Kevin51 profile image
Kevin51 in reply to bepo

Heat therapy is good for PD regardless (heat shock proteins ...) so keep up the Saunas!

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to

The premise for your conclusion is very wrong. What you are in essence saying is analogous to saying that "because there are people who chain-smoke all their lives and never have cancer therefore cigarettes does not cause cancer"

We now all know this is not true. And it's because of collective attitude like yours-"finding the cause is effectively impossible"- that we are not making any progress in finding the root causes of PD

in reply to Grumpy77

Whoah. Hold on. What I am saying is that it's not possible for an individual PWP to track down the singular cause or the combination of causes at the moment. People on this site say "this specific toxin caused my PD" and im saying we have no way of knowing that, unless you injected MPTP.

I'm not saying that individual causes won't be possible to ascertain in the future.

An awful lot more is known about smoking and cancer than is known about any particular thing and PD. I agree that smoking causes lung cancer. I agree that toxins (or more acurately, "environmental factors") cause PD , i just dont agree that anyone can really pinpoint singular causes at this point. Is that better?

(Im also not sure that my posting in HU Is having a big effect on PD research).

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to

I get your point now

Though if a large number of people (such as Vietnam veterans) can show that they were exposed to the same toxin are PwP, then such correlation can point to specific toxins.. Or take farmers for instance who were exposed to similar insecticides developing PD, then that's another correlation that can point to specific toxins

Despite that not all Vietnam veterans are PwP and not all farmers are PwP... There is still a statistical anomaly

And such correlations are popping up but I believe "they" are aggressively fighting off establishing this link for the fear of being sued and litigations

park_bear profile image
park_bear in reply to

>"Finding the cause is effectively impossible. There is no single known cause besides MPTP."

That is not correct. Certain genetic mutations are known to cause Parkinson's, and at least one biotech is developing treatments specifically for those with genetically caused Parkinson's.

In addition, per my writing linked to upthread, exposure to the pesticide permethrin is associated with triple the risk of acquiring Parkinson's. Although this is from an observational study which falls short of definitive proof, this elevation of risk is unusually high.

Do disinfectants such as Dettol count as a toxin?

Yes. A saying I will never forget is if you can smell it you have inhaled it

redread profile image
redread in reply to Grumpy77

Mainstream medicine is just now beginning to pay attention to the "gut /brain" connection. What we put in our digestive tract affects the brain. Check out Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic and others who believe that lifestyle and nutrition play a huge role in health outcomes. Also, stress is a huge factor in autoimmune and other health issues

How about when you inherit PD. My father my bother and his son have Pd .

I have it too.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to theAfrican

I will edit the original post and add "genetics"

You know some of the genetically transmitted diseases are to some level passed down through continued lifestyles. Not all, and only to a certain level please don’t get me wrong.

bepo profile image
bepo in reply to theAfrican

I have one gene for Parkinson's. My husband has no genes, and he has PD from toxins.

We are far away from the reason we have PD. That why they can’t find the cure. PD has many should be subdivided.each patient has specific pain

The only thing my PD husband experienced out of all of these occurrences, was jumping into the shallow end of a swimming pool, hitting his head, 50 years before getting a PD diagnosis. He didn't pass out at the time.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to rhyspeace12

It shows that hidden trauma can show up much later in life, so sad

in reply to Grumpy77

Better than showing up earlier! 😊

Hi, I have read that exposure to aluminum, pesticides and stress over time can contribute to PD. Myself I was exposed to radiation from an atomic bomb detonated over my country. I had one other brother who also developed PD.

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Hiroko

Hiroko, the day the atom bomb exploded over your country was indeed a sad day for humanity. The stress and depression that followed must have been terrible. My condolences to you and your fellow countrymen.

Despe profile image
Despe in reply to pdpatient

I also feel for the US military who died during the unprovocative attack at Pearl Harbor. Never again!

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Despe

Despe, so true. War is a dirty stain on humanity. After getting Parkinson's, I feel differently about life and life goals.

I strongly believe that we should all spend more time being good to each other instead of hating or killing each other. The service men and women at Pearl Harbor did not deserve to die. But they were soldiers who knew that they would probably die in battle someday. The civilians that we Americans killed in Japan with the two bombs did not sign up to die.

Today, we have more than 100,000 Americans dead because of Corona Virus and nobody seems to care. 400,000 people dead worldwide because of the disease and nobody seems to care.

About 10 million of us Parkinson's patients worldwide and nobody seems to care🥵

The world could be a better place. What's the point in all this acrimony? Look at the riots in America this week. We don't need this. What was the point in the police officer killing the unarmed civilian? I don't want to start a controversial topic here, but....

Someone on this forum suggested that the world could be a beautiful place if everyone could experience Parkinson's for a day. Turns out that they have invented a device that lets you do just that. See:

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to pdpatient

>"the world could be a beautiful place if everyone could experience Parkinson's for a day"

Unfortunately human memory is rather too short, to your shock you will find people's memory of a brief traumatic event quickly fades away into the distance and normal behavior resumes

My earlier reply was cut off by my lack of typing skills lol. At 82, it's a challenge.!

You're on the right track with looking at diet, toxins, and that includes processed foods. Many excellent Facebook groups address how to reverse symptoms of autoimmune illnesses using micronutrients, exercise and reducing stress. I watched films like "Heal" that discuss a complete change of lifestyle and nutrition. Apologies for the lengthy reply but I've waited years to see someone address this issue. Don't give up because you're on the right path.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to redread

Wow, at 82 you are doing very well, in fact excellently well. I'm in my mid fifties and I'm struggling to type on my mobile because of very shaky tremors

I agree with you, this topic on causes of PD should be discussed more often

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Grumpy77

Grumpy, I am 55 and I shudder to think about my future at 82 if I live that long. I feel sometimes that I might not want to live that long with these tremors. I feel great when on the medications and miserable without them. I feel like a drug addict on steroids.

Redhead, your are truly blessed to be alive and able to communicate at your age. My perfectly healthy father withered away the last few years and left this earth at the age of 82 last July. I think he lost the will to live.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to pdpatient

I echo every word of your post apart from the last lines because my dad is still alive at 90

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Grumpy77

Grumpy, blessed are you and your dad. You have good genes.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to pdpatient

Since you are the same age as me, I would like to know... when or what age were you first aware of your PD symptoms and when were you officially diagnosed if different from the year you first noticed symptoms?

Also how would assess that you are controlling your symptoms or PD progression?

What medications are you on and how far do you feel the medications have helped? Any side effects ?

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Grumpy77

Grumpy, I was diagnosed at 46 when I self diagnosed myself and went to my neurologist and showed him my written symptoms and asked: I think I have Parkinson's. Do you concur?

To my shock, he examined me and said that I did. I was incredulous. I wasn't expecting to be right🥵

Then he said that i had to rethink my life choices and decisions because I was morbidity obese. I got quite a verbal whacking. I was so distraught that I left his office in denial and refused to accept the diagnosis until about two years later after a positive datscan and a confirmation from an MDS.

I am 75 pounds lighter now and full of appreciation for the neurologist's words at the time. I would have been bedridden otherwise. However I still think that his bedside manner and approach could have been better.

My symptoms have gone from bad to worse and back and forth to better, with varying degrees of success and failure on Sinemet and Rytary. My speech was totally affected with an alarming inability to be understood by anyone.

Turns out the culprit is too much Levodopa. So, my doctor is titrating down the Rytary and introduced Requip XL. The combination of Rytary and Requip and Amantadine is working better now.

I am also diabetic which complicates things. I qualified for bydureon which is supposed to be therapeutic. The only problem is that it delays gastric emptying and then that interferes with Levodopa absorption.

I am also on Cymbalta. For anxiety and depression. Life is frustrating. Yes, I too have contemplated cutting off my tremoring hand 😅 Ring a bell?

My father's death last July has affected me deeply and part of the reason is that I cremated him in India. The process is quite stark, hands on and at close quarters and I physically pushed him into the cremation chamber. 30 minutes later, he was a pile of ashes. A fully grown man reduced to ashes and bone shards in 30 minutes!! I am still in shock. Do we spend our lifetimes to be reduced to nothing in 30 minutes? Life has taken on a new meaning now and I don't know how to spend the rest of my life on Earth.

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to pdpatient

You've done very well. To drop 34kg in just a few years indicates that you've got your discipline back and that's very commendable. My PD with the associated severe anxiety is horrible enough... to add diabetes to that is unthinkable, so I can just about imagine what you are going through

I noticed tremors in early 2016 when I was 51 (other symptoms such as apathy and anxiety showed up even years earlier) but had no clue about PD at that time. Neither did the GP I first consulted, which meant I was sent on a wild goose chase. When I finally got the correct diagnosis in late 2017, it came as a supershock to my system. Like you things have been going up and down with me... at times my tremors get so bad I thought I could do without my hand ☹️

I can imagine the psychological trauma of cremation, was that compulsory in your culture or was it just a special request from your dad?

Before PD I thought I was invincible, I also was careless with my lifestyle, though I was never overweight. Now with PD I have an irreversible wake up call, now I feel so vulnerable, now I am very careful with what I eat, drink, inhale and do

pdpatient profile image
pdpatient in reply to Grumpy77

Grumpy, it's required in my culture.

I have come to think that perhaps the parasites and viruses that enter our bodies are the cause because in the past there was no contamination or toxins today but there were parasites and viruses

Some of the pesticides have been around for decades and the previous ones were even worse! There was lead paint and aluminium pots...

I have seen records of use of lead and mercury by so called Drs before we knew how toxic it is. I distinctly remember children being sprayed with DDT for some reason or other. More recent, I have a friend who's mother developed cancer. Her Drs said it was all the cleaning chemicals she used for her work, look at us now, trying to eradicate Covid with non stop chemicals.

It could be that many factors can cause our autoimmune system to be compromised, and when that happens, we live in a state of medical vulnerability and fragility.

I think like others that it’s very complex My dad. grandpa and me all have Parkinson’s. My friend was afarmer ( pesticides ) that had just painted farm machinery without a mask. Not long after he developed Parkinson’s. He then soon that he discovered a failed root canal that was sending infection in his brain. He pulled the tooth, detoxed and was healed within 6 months. My skeptical dad saw the change and tried it himself. Unfortunately it Did nothing for him.

I think I am genetically predisposed to have Parkinson’s. I live in a rural community that has lots of pesticides. I’ve had extensive dental work, 6 root canals and 2 failed. I started showing symptoms 6 1/2 years ago after the death of my dad

We ran a Stressful farm Machinery business, His death causing much more than regular stress. Another took Three years to die on hospice. Four months after her death I was diagnosed.

I think all of those factors contributed to my Parkinson’s

I don't believe in pesticides and toxins theory. I believe that genetics is a risk factor. Additionally bad lifestyle, stress (e.g. job stress, stressful relationship etc.) convert the risk (due to genetic flaws) into reality

Grumpy77 profile image
Grumpy77 in reply to Farooqji

Why don't you believe in the pesticides or toxins theory? Is it based on some research papers you read, your observations or some gut feelings?

Farooqji profile image
Farooqji in reply to Grumpy77

In Parkinson no research has proven to be final and verified so far. Today's theories will be superceded by tomorrow one's. As per my observation, Genetics role is the biggest amongst the root causes plus stress aggravates the situation. There was theory a few years ago that taking coffee reduces the risk of PD. Now the same scientists are saying that coffee has nothing to do with risk of PD. Alas doctors and scientists had known the root cause, the treatment would have easier then. I bet the cure will only be possible when we know the actual root cause.

Camp Lejeune water contamination 1953–1987 resulted in largest single such USA 🇺🇸 incident and has resulted in many Parkinson’s Diagnoses. Google Those key words For details. And #EndingParkinsons - The Book

#The Few The Proud The Forgotten Netflix Documentary

ParlePark profile image
ParlePark in reply to AmyLindy

Believe you! And feel there are more than a few reasons that cause PD as well.

AmyLindy profile image
AmyLindy in reply to ParlePark

Thx and yes, multi- causal factors. The VA / CDC / DoD determination is “presumptive service related connection” to the water. Undoubtedly many other factors are involved in PD, for sure!

I listened to an interview with Datis Kharazzin a Dr and researcher out of Calif. Who said one of the reasons alpha snyuclein are damaged is due to toxins like BPA, and Ecoli that bind to the synuclein. I know he has collaborated on research papers, can't remember which college he is affiliated with. My own history includes drinking well water for 30 years near farms and it is loaded with nitrates. I also was on antibiotics as a kid for over 10 years.

Grumpy, yes, cremation is compulsory and then we perform a 13 day ritual, followed by a monthly ritual from the first year.

We perform a large first anniversary ritual followed by a less complicated anniversary ritual that ends only when I die.

Orthodox Hindu belief is that this process is the way to assist and ensure the proper transit of the soul through the journey of the afterlife and becoming one with the eternal soul or Brahman or the process of reincarnation based on the actions of the person in life here on Earth.

Ironically, I am also supposed to fully let go of the attachment to my father after the 13 day ritual. However, I am not able to.

I would also add Chemo therapy and radiation.

I always worried that when I was a teenager my buddy and I would stay in a cabin up north and go fishing- in the evenings the cabin would have lots of mosquitos- we found mosquito coils (made in the 60's) that had PCP in them . Anyhow we left them burning by our beds all night long..... well , there were no mosquito's to be seen, but what damage did they do to us?? Who know's, maybe worrying about it is even worse..

Anyone seen a link between radiotherapy and Parkinsons? I had radiotherapy about 6-7 years prior to first showing PD symptoms and my osteopath believed there was a connection

It's a question we all want an answer to. If we knew the cause maybe we could treat the disease better or avoid getting it. It is my belief that my exposure to manganese caused my parkinsons. If you research an MSDS for manganese it lists exposure may causes parkinsons like symptoms. Manganese is used as a feed additive for livestock and also in fertilizers. Therefore it is in our water from runoff our vegetation from fertilizers and our meats from feed additives. I had been exposed for years to concentrated manganese so I brought this to the attention of my doctors after being diagnosed with PD. None of them seemed interested in testing me for this possibly thinking they might get dragged into legal action. All I was interested in was getting the best treatment for my condition. Finally I was told that even if I was correct that the treatment for manganese poisoning would be the same as for PD. The only other treatment I could find was Chelation which was expensive not available in my area and not recommended by my doctors. So I take a pile of prescription medication and now some supplements hoping to get a decent quality of life a little longer.

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