Pesticide Linked to Alzheimer's

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Alzheimer's, which continues to grow at alarming rates across the nation, has now been linked to the pesticide DDT.

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane was once sprayed with abandon across the United States in attempts to curb insects. It was spread in every possible form: liquid, powder, granules, aerosols, even smoke candles. During World War II, it was used to help manage malaria and typhus, and after the war, it was used in millions of homes and farms.

It wasn't until 1972, following the publication of the groundbreaking chronicle Silent Spring, that DDT was banned from agricultural use in the U.S., but it is still used in a number of other nations.

This morning, a new study revealed that blood drawn from a sample of Alzheimer's patients contained nearly four times greater levels of a DDT byproduct than blood taken from a group of healthy people.

The researched, published online this morning in JAMA Neurology, grew out of earlier research that linked another banned pesticide, betahexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH) to Parkinson's disease.