Parkinsons disease lecture available in Burin

Published on April 28, 2009

A leading Canadian researcher admitted while cosmetic use of chemical pesticides should be banned, a total ban on such products is unrealistic.

A leading Canadian researcher admitted while cosmetic use of chemical pesticides should be banned, a total ban on such products is unrealistic.
Dr. Shawn Hayley, who is studying the link between environmental toxins and Parkinson's disease, explained "Some farmers depend on them for their livelihood and without them their crop yields would be low… and in some poorer countries, without pesticides, people would be dying of malaria."
In terms of the farming industry, Dr. Hayley said looking at more organically friendly products should be the way of the future.
"But just to have a pretty lawn, I'd ban all chemical pesticides."

No one knows what causes Parkinson's disease. However, Dr. Hayley and other researchers across the country are trying to find answers to that question.
He's originally from St. John's and is a Memorial University graduate.
Dr. Hayley now works as associate professor and Canada Research Chair of Behavioural Neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa.
A neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson's affects over 100,000 Canadians.
Movement is normally controlled by 'dopamine', a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of Parkinson's appear.
Often touted as the disease where 'your body turns against you', many people with Parkinson's suffer from tremors, slowness and stiffness, balance problems and rigidity of the muscles. Other symptoms include fatigue, soft speech, writing problems, stooped posture and depression.
Dr. Hayley believes environmental toxins, such as chemicals in some pesticides, insecticides and fungicides as well as heavy metals including aluminum, lead, iron, mercury, manganese and methyl mercury may lead to an increased incidence of Parkinson's.
"I've started to study the herbicide Paraquat here in my lab."
Dr. Hayley said the herbicide is used in many parts of the world, including Canada.
His research has found administering Paraquat to rodents destroys about 30 per cent of the dopamine neurons in the brain.
"These are the same neurons that die in Parkinson's and these animals then show some slowness of movement similar to Parkinson's patients."
His research is now looking at ways t the herbicides could be killing these dopamine neurons.
Dr. Hayley will hold a public lecture at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's June 11 where he'll discuss his research linking environmental factors to Parkinson's disease.
The Parkinson Society Newfoundland and Labrador will host the lecture and video-conference Dr. Hayley's lecture to Burin, Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander, Clarenville and Carbonear.
For more information on Dr. Hayley's presentation call toll free at 1-800-567-7020 or by e-mail ''.