The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Patient Council member Soania Mathur, MD, shares her perspective as a young physician diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease.
In an article published on the Huffington Post, Soania writes about how we might be more mindful about the role of environmental factors on human health, and how we might be more mindful about its influence.
As a physician, I've seen first hand the role that environment and genetics play in determining our health. In fact the cause of all illnesses can really be placed on a spectrum with environment and genetics contributing to varying degrees. The reality is that globally we have seen a rise in the incidence of genital malformations in baby boys, reduced sperm counts in young men, increased incidence of some adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, a rise in neurobehavioral disorders in children such as autism and other learning disabilities, early puberty amongst our girls, and increased obesity and Type 2 diabetes rates. Not to mention the worldwide increase over the past 50 years of malignancies such as breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid as well as childhood brain cancer and leukemia. If one looks at this increased rate of disease incidence over the past decades, it cannot be explained by genetic factors alone. Instead there must be environmental influences that contribute to this change, chemical exposure included.