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J Rural Health. 2016 Jun;32(3):303-13. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12154. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Parkinson's Disease and Pesticides Exposure: New Findings From a Comprehensive Study in Nebraska, USA.

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Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada.



The association between exposure to agricultural pesticides and Parkinson's Disease (PD) has long been a topic of study in the field of environmental health. This research takes advantage of the unique Nebraska PD registry and state-level crop classification data to investigate the PD-pesticides exposure relationship.


First, Geographic Information System and satellite remote sensing data were adopted to calculate exposure to different pesticides for Nebraska residents. An integrated spatial exploratory framework was then adopted to explore the association between PD incidence and exposure to specific pesticide ingredients at the county level.


Our results reveal similarities in geographic patterns of pesticide exposure and PD incidence. The regression analyses indicate that, for most Nebraska counties, PD incidence was significantly associated with exposure to certain pesticide ingredients such as alachlor and broxomy. However, the results also suggest that factors other than pesticide exposure may help further explain the risk of PD at the county level.


We found significant associations between PD incidence and exposure to different pesticide ingredients. These results have useful implications for PD prevention in Nebraska and other agricultural states in the United States.


GIS; Parkinson's disease; exposure modeling; pesticides exposure; spatial analysis

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