Parkinson's disease: evidence for environmental risk factors

Mov Disord. 2013 Jan;28(1):8-13. doi: 10.1002/mds.25150. Epub 2012 Oct 24.


Parkinson's disease (PD) has no known cause. Although recent research has focused particularly on genetic causes of PD, environmental causes also play a role in developing the disease. This article reviews environmental factors that may increase the risk of PD, as well as the evidence behind those factors. Enough evidence exists to suggest that age has a causal relationship to PD. Significant evidence exists that gender, tobacco use, and caffeine consumption are also associated with the development of PD. Other environmental factors (pesticide exposure, occupation, blood urate levels, NSAID use, brain injury, and exercise) have limited or conflicting evidence of a relationship to PD. Future research must not neglect the impact of these environmental factors on the development of PD, especially with respect to potential gene-environment interactions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Environment*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics
  • Risk Factors