By now, it is a known fact that exposure to paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson's disease significantly.
Particularly, agricultural workers have a 250% greater chance of developing this disease than the general population.
However, you may wonder how paraquat exposure contributes to the occurrence of this progressive nervous system disorder.
Paraquat is incredibly effective in destroying weeds and grasses that are resistant to glyphosate because it causes oxidative stress. Basically, it breaks the oxygen atoms from the cell molecules and kills them on a molecular level.
When a person inhales paraquat mist or when the herbicide is absorbed through the skin, it travels through the lungs or the stomach and subsequently damages a part of the brain medically known as the substantia nigra pars compacta.
This part of the brain is responsible for producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in how we experience pleasure.
It also enhances our unique ability to think and plan. Medical studies conducted on animals found that when paraquat reaches the substantia nigra pars compacta, it depletes the cells that release dopamine, and the same effect is believed to occur in humans when they are exposed to this herbicide.
The reduction of the cell number that produces dopamine is a telltale sign of Parkinson's disease in humans. When a large portion of the neurons that create dopamine are destroyed, the body is unable to maintain healthy levels of this neurotransmitter, which results in certain brain function impairments. Consequently, the primary cause of Parkinson's disease, which is a neurodegenerative brain disorder, is the loss of neurons that produce dopamine.
Because it is a degenerative brain disorder, Parkinson's disease causes symptoms that increase in frequency and intensity over the years. There are 5 stages of Parkinson's disease, and with each stage, the progression of the condition will become more apparent:
With over 35 years of experience in assessing personal injury and product liability claims nationwide, the team of experts at Atraxia Law will carefully evaluate your situation and let you know whether you are eligible for filing a paraquat claim.
The process is quite complex, and it will require minimal involvement on your part and a family member can help you with the process.