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    Camp Lejeune Veterans at Higher Risk for Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds

    Camp Lejeune Veterans at Higher Risk for Parkinson's Disease, Study Finds

    Marines and sailors who unwittingly drank and showered in water containing organic solvents and other volatile compounds at Lejeune, North Carolina, during its water contamination crisis decades ago had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to newly published research.

    A study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology suggests the chemicals that poisoned the water supply more than 40 years ago contribute to the fatal illness, which affects the nervous system and can cause tremors, slurred speech and difficulty moving.

    The research compared the health records of more than 172,000 personnel assigned to Camp Lejeune from 1975 to 1985 with those of nearly 170,000 at Camp Pendleton, California, who were not exposed to contaminated water. The data showed 279 service members assigned to Camp Lejeune had a diagnosis of Parkinson's or had Parkinson-like symptoms, compared with 151 at Pendleton.

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    Crunching the numbers, the researchers found that the risk of Parkinson's was significantly higher in Camp Lejeune veterans and diagnoses of anxiety, tremor or erectile dysfunction — Parkinsonism symptoms — also were higher in those at the East Coast base.

    The findings have implications not only for the roughly 1 million service members who were assigned to the base from 1953 to 1987 but also for…

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