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Fruit Consumption Related to Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease?

Embargoed for meeting release until 9:00 am HT, Wed., April 2, 2003

Honolulu, Hawaii – Researchers in Honolulu have found a correlation between high fruit and fruit drink consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease. Findings of their study are being presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003. Previous studies have suggested a link between fruit and vitamin C intake and an increased risk of Parkinson’s. However, these studies have been primarily retrospective in design and are subject to recall bias. The current study is longitudinal, in which risk factor data was collected before onset of Parkinson’s among more than 8,000 study subjects. Incidence of Parkinson’s cases was noted over 34 years of observation. Results of the study show that increased fruit and fruit drink consumption predicted an increased Parkinson’s risk, after adjusting for other known risk factors. High dietary and supplemental intake of vitamin C did not appear to be associated with risk of Parkinson’s. "We speculate that this increased risk may be due to plant borne toxins, pesticides or herbicides, rather than the fruit itself," notes study author Andrew Grandinetti, PhD, of the Pacific Biomedical Research Center, University of Hawaii and Manoa. "High fruit intake is still an important protective factor against many chronic diseases. However, these findings suggest that further research into the role of food borne toxins may provide clarity as well as insight into the etiology and prevention of Parkinson’s."

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Editor's Notes:Dr. Grandinetti will present the research at the AAN’s 55th Annual Meeting in Honolulu during a presentation at 1:30 p.m. on Thurs., April 3 in Room 313C at the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC). He will be available to answer media questions during a briefing at 9:00 a.m. on Wed., April 2 in the AAN Press Room, Room 327 of the HCC. All listed times are for Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time (HT).


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