"Several studies have linked pesticides with the development of Parkinson's disease, and now a new study has found a specific gene that may explain why some people are particularly susceptible to developing Parkinson's after exposure to certain pesticides."
Parkinson's disease results from the loss of neurons involved in processing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Researchers had previously found a gene that was involved in dopamine processing, and in animal experiments, they determined which pesticides inhibited this gene's pathway.
In the new study, they found that one variant of the gene, called ALDH2, may be even more susceptible to inhibition from pesticides. They then tested for this gene variant in Californians with Parkinson's disease whose exposure to various pesticides could be measured by comparing where they had lived with charts of pesticide use in the state."