Those of you who attended the recent branch meeting will remember that Sophie McClachan, Parkinson’s UK Research Communications Officer, had been given some questions that she was not able to answer on the spot.  Well, Sophie has very kindly come back to us with some information on these topics which you may find helpful.  There is also lots of further news on research on the Parkinson’s UK website on

What specific pesticides are linked to Parkinson’s?

Research has suggested that those exposed to high levels of pesticides and herbicides have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. In terms of particular pesticides which have been associated with Parkinson’s some research suggests that high levels of pesticides such as Paraquat and Rotenone, that affect how the batteries of the cell, known as mitochondria, work increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Links between handedness and severity/symptoms of Parkinson’s

 There hasn’t been very much research into this topic – especially into whether being right or left handed could be linked to different symptoms or the severity of symptoms. But one paper looking into handedness and Parkinson’s suggests that symptoms emerge more often on the dominant hand-side. Read more

 Are men with Parkinson’s more likely to develop speech problems?

 A research paper back in 2000 looked into symptoms in 948 people with Parkinson’s to identify if there was any difference in symptoms between genders. This showed that some symptoms were more frequent among males than females this included speech problems and an increased flow of saliva- which could also affect speech.

 You can find out more about this research here-

More recently the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease centre also looked into gender differences in symptoms and also found that speech problems were more frequent in males. You can find out more