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Head Injury and Proximity to Paraquat Increases Likelihood of Parkinson’s and other Health GIS News

Tuesday, November 20th 2012
By Adena Schutzberg

A new study shows that people who have had a head injury and have lived or worked near areas where the pesticide paraquat was used may be three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The study is published in the November 13, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Paraquat is a herbicide commonly used on crops to control weeds. It can be deadly to humans and animals. ...

The study involved 357 people with Parkinson’s disease and 754 people without the disease, all of whom lived in an agricultural area in central California. The participants reported any head injuries they had ever received with a loss of consciousness for more than five minutes.

The researchers determined participants’ exposure to the weed killer based on a 500-meter area around their home and work addresses, using a geographic information system (GIS) that combined data on paraquat use collected by the state of California’s Pesticide Use Reporting system with land use maps.

- press release

A two week class in GIS for experts and those in public health was held in Huye, Rwanda.

The course, which attracted 20 participants from seven African countries, is organised by the Centre for Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing at the National University of Rwanda (CGIS-NUR), in collaboration with the University of Twente in the Netherlands and the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

There was no information on if attendees have access to software or computers in their home country, though I guess GIS experts would have some access. Those teaching confirmed the value of GIS in public health.

- All Africa

NPR offers a change in diabetes in the U.S. by state map based on the latest CDC figures. Note how this it not an animated map; that's kind of "out." Interactive maps are "in."

 - NPR via tcGSGIS

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