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Bekämpningsmedel orsakar demens

Bekämpningsmedel kopplas till demens.Långvarig exponering för bekämpningsmedel ökar risken för alzheimer och andra former av demens, framgår av en fransk studie.Arbetare som direktexponerats för bekämpningsmedel på de prestigefyllda vingårdarna i Bordeaux i Frankrike löpte fem gånger större risk att prestera mindre bra resultat på neurologiska test än de som utsatts för minimal exponering.Sämre resultat visade sig efter anmärkningsvärt kort exponering och redan i 40-50-årsåldern

Long-term Exposure to Pesticides May Increase Risk of Dementia. A new study tracking the cognitive performance of vineyard workers, over time, shows a link between their exposure to pesticides and cognitive decline.Over the course of five years, vineyard workers with more exposure to pesticides lost ground on a wide range of important cognitive skills compared to their coworkers. The researchers suspect that in addition to other hazards of long-term pesticide exposure, it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer"s disease or other kinds of dementia.Tracking more than 600 vineyard workers over time.

A team of researchers studied 614 vineyard workers in the French wine-growing region of Bordeaux. The workers - about 80 percent men and 20 percent women - were typically in their 40s and 50s and had worked in agriculture for 20 years or more. They were given a suite of tests of mental performance in 1997-1998 and again in 2001-2003. From their detailed work histories, they were divided into groups with direct exposure to pesticides, for example mixing or applying those products; indirect exposure, for example working in fields that had been sprayed; or not exposed.The workers were given a series of frequently used tests that are used to assess basic mental capabilities and functioning, including orientation to time and place, being able to focus and shift attention,concentration, visual and verbal memory, speed of movement and of mental processing, the ability to perform simple calculations, categorizing and generalizing.After removing the effects of education, age, alcohol or drug use, and other known factors affecting cognitive functioning, the researchers found a clear link between pesticide exposure and cognitive decline over time.

Compared to non-exposed workers, workers with direct or indirect exposure to pesticides showed significantly more impairment in attention, resistance to distraction and conceptualization at the beginning of the study, and significantly greater decline over the course of five years on all but one of the tests of mental skills.

The hardest-hit areas of mental functioning included short term visual memory, for which exposed workers were more than five times as likely to show a steep decline over time, speed of mental processing, where exposed workers were more than three times as likely to have declined significantly, and the ability to focus attention and resist distraction, where exposed workers were more than 2.5 times more likely to have deteriorated significantly over time.The health risks from pesticide exposure go beyond simple cognitive impairment.

The researchers say that this longitudinal study, which is ongoing, adds to the large body of research linking pesticide exposure and reduced mental abilities, but also has implications for the development of Alzherimer"s and other forms of dementia.Not only do many pesticides have directly toxic effects on neurons and the brain, which could lead on to dementia, but by reducing cognitive functioning, these products remove one of the factors that is known to protect against the development of dementia."These results suggest possible evolution towards Alzheimer"s disease or other dementias in subjects chronically exposed to pesticides," the researchers conclude.

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(inlagt 2010-12-11)
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