By 2040 there could be more than 17 million sufferers across the world, compared with the six million now.
Scientists say the rise is being fuelled by industrialisation, with pesticides, solvents and heavy metals linked to the condition. Other factors include ageing populations and fewer people smoking as, paradoxically, smokers are 40 per cent less likely to be struck down.
Study lead author Professor Ray Dorsey, a neurologist at Rochester University in New York, said: “Parkinson’s exacts an enormous human toll on those with the disease and those around them.”
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