Parkinson’s disease is a devastating, progressive illness that has become increasingly common in recent years. There are risk factors for this disease that are unavoidable; age is one of them. Most people who develop Parkinson’s disease only begin to notice symptoms between the ages of 60 and 80.
Another well-known risk factor is gender: men are 50% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women. (It is important to note, however, that this statistic considers the entire population of people with Parkinson’s disease, without dividing the afflicted people into specific age ranges. If we only consider individuals above age 80, for example, the gap for the risk of developing Parkinson’s between men and women decreases substantially.)
The increased risk of Parkinson’s among men is also due, in part, to two other factors, both of which are more common in men.
A recent study found that military veterans who suffered mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) had a 56% greater chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. Contact sports, like football and boxing, have recently become a greater concern among scientists and physicians, since head trauma is common among such sports. Both military duty and contact sports have far greater participation among the male population.
Another major risk factor for Parkinson’s disease is exposure to certain chemicals, metals, and toxins. Although most of us have been exposed to these substances, certain jobs provide relatively constant exposure, and these jobs are more populated by men than women. Among the metals that have been connected with Parkinson’s disease, the five most common are:
Manganese, bismuth, thallium and zinc have also been associated with Parkinson’s.
Among the chemicals and toxins that increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, the Parkinson’s foundation lists a variety of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides.
In addition, chemicals, like the defoliant Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War, have also been linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Though most of the links mentioned above have not been conclusively shown to cause Parkinson’s disease, they are known to increase the risk of getting the disease. The precise reasons are still unclear.
The takeaway message for us is that exposure to certain chemicals, pesticides, and metals may be taking a toll on our health that we are unaware of. However, there are some choices we can make that limit this exposure in our daily lives.
For example, we can choose:
- To wash all fruits and vegetables carefully before eating them
- A drycleaner that only uses non-toxic chemicals in their cleaning process
- A pest control company that only uses pesticides known to be safe for humans
- A lawn care company that uses non-toxic weed control methods
Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center is conveniently located in scenic Lakewood, NJ, close to major medical centers and just minutes from area highways.
Our beautiful nursing home and rehab center is situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, and provides the comfortable and pleasant living experience that is essential to ensuring optimal clinical outcomes. We have strived to create an environment and program that truly enhances quality of life, thus promoting recuperation, health, and well-being.
Our modern facility features spacious living spaces that are impeccably decorated and furnished. Our residents are pampered with the finest amenities, including free WIFI, flat screen cable television and state-of-the-art mechanical beds for individualized comfort.
At Atlantic Coast, our goal is to offer activities that stimulate both mind and body. We fashion each day’s recreation schedule with the primary purpose of encouraging social interaction and promoting physical health and fitness. To accommodate different interests and personal preferences, our Activities Director designs flexible schedules, with a variety of stimulating and engaging activity options.
Atlantic Coast’s long-term care program emphasizes a restorative approach, encouraging each patient’s potential to maximize function and mobility.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.