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The Adverse Effects of Paraquat (Part 3)

History of Paraquat 

Paraquat was first produced for commercial purposes in 1961.[1] In the United States, Paraquat is only available to be used by licensed applicators for commercial purposes. That is because it is a restricted-use herbicide.

Paraquat and Oxidative Stress

A significant cause of Parkinson’s disease is a loss of function of the dopamine neurons in the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta. The brain cells in this part of the brain are especially susceptible to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the antioxidant defenses and the reactive oxygen in cells. It also causes damage to the cell structures in the mitochondria. Paraquat has been linked to the oxidative stress that creates this problem for the blood-brain barrier.[2]

Paraquat’s Redox Cycle

Paraquat toxicity is related to the ability to redox cycle, which accepts an electron from an appropriate donor with the subsequent reduction of oxygen to produce superoxide while also regenerating the parent compound.[3] The causal linkage between oxidative stress and Paraquat has been supported by multiple lines of experimental evidence regarding neurodegeneration.[4]

How is Paraquat Causally Linked to Parkinson’s

The blood-brain barrier is significant when discussing the circumstances behind the causal linkage of Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. Typically, the blood-brain barrier protects the brain tissue from being exposed to harmful oxidative stress agents that can injure or cause damage to the brain tissue. However, that blood-brain barrier is not protective of the hypothalamus, pineal gland, and other areas. This leaves an opening for the type of damage that can occur from the oxidative stress caused by Paraquat. Thus, the brain is not protected by the blood-brain barrier.  

Symptoms of Paraquat Poisoning

According to the CDC, people who experience paraquat poisoning will have severe pain and swelling of the mouth and throat, indigestion, dehydration, abnormalities of the intestines, heart failure, kidney failure, and other severe injuries.[5] These short-term, immediate symptoms that appear when exposed to Paraquat on your clothing or skin are mentioned above. The more long-term effects surrounding this litigation are symptoms of Parkinson’s and the injuries breach of the blood-brain barrier of this toxic herbicide.

Michael Brady Lynch Firm

If you or a loved one have been injured by Paraquat, please give us a call at 888-585-5970. We have professionals that are standing by to take your call and hear your story.

Read Part 2 of The Adverse Effects of Paraquat 

Read Part 1 of The Adverse Effects of Paraquat 

  [1] https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp

[2] Katarzyna Kuter et al, NeuroChem. Res. 2010.

[3] Derek A. Dreschel and Manisha Patel, Free Radic. Biol. Med. 2008

[4] McCormack et al., J. of NeuroChem.

[5] https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp

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