TASER and the later development of Parkinsons

I am a research and development consultant involved with police science and for the past fifteen years studying Less Lethal options which include TASER. From personal experience this is a rather power shock weapon and highly effective in law enforcement however, quite a number of people I know who experinced TASER in repeated training scenarios now have Parkinsons.

These include some once very fit and healthy police officers and in one case, one of the top SAS trainers who took part in the Iranian Embassy Siege, so these guys were 100% OK before electrocution and now are sufferers. Over the past few years a few of my friends have voiced their concerns about TASER and the possibility it may trigger Parkinsons.

I have absolutely no medical proof and therefore seek anecdotal feedback or evidence from anyone who has either been TASERED and now has problems, or has Parkinsons after being electrocuted by any other means, even accidental.

There may be a link between high voltage shock, physiologival changes and the later development of Parkinsons...?

Whilst I do not wish to be a scaremonger the coincindence of people now with Parkinsons after TASER exposure would be an interesting thread to follow in this Forum

In all medical safety assessments of TASER the principal concerns were cardiac interference.

If eletrocution was a trigger, this advances our knowledge about what could bring on Parkinsons in a previously healthy individual


I know its a bit pedantic, but you don't ever get feedback from people who have been electrocuted, as they are dead.

Hi Popeye,
I've never been electrocuted, nearest i got to that was probably when a hairdryer went pop on me! But.....i myself am often electical! meaning i can get a shock from things like my car door, hand rails on escalators etc. A loose connnection maybe??? Interested in hearing if anyone else can relate to this with P..d.


what about being struck by lightning?

Never tried it, is it recommended?


How will you find a link, statistically, when the sample size is so small? Your emperical eidence is going to be hard to find.

Interesting. I did get a heavy electrical shock as a kid when I unscrewed a lightbulb from a bedside lamp and put my fingers into the holder. It was out of character for me and I'm not sure how old I was, probably around five or so. I have a dim memory of doing the silly thing, and getting thrown back. I don't think I got any major burns or other damage, and didn't get any medical treatment as far as I recall.
I was diagnosed with PD at the age of 53, but possibly showed some symptoms such as diminished sense of smell at the age of 30 or so.

Thats like saying everyone who has PD had eaten potatoes, therefore potatoes cause PD! You need to show cause.

Hi Popeye
The scientific approach to this would be to try to prove there is no link between Tasering and Parkinson's rather than trying to cherry pick data to support the theory. Some statistical analysis is required. Do you have access to all the data in, say, the UK on all the people who have ever been tasered? One would expect there has to be a report made on everyone tasered by the police. You then need to know how many of these now have Parkinson's. If you can find this out and the number is comparable to the number of people per 100,000 who have Parkinson's in the general population when you age-match them, then it would look like there is no effect. But if you found that there were significantly more than the general population, or if the age of onset was on average significantly lower than usual, then there could be cause for concern and more work would be indicated. But I bet you can't get a full enough data set in the first place! But if you were able to, you would then have to look at other possible causes for the results. If the positive correlation still stood up, you would need, say, to look at the results for other countries too.

I imagine that the sample of people who have been repeatedly tasered is very small so you wouldn't be able to show a statistically significant number with PD to prove to indicate an effect one way or another for this group either.

The key is statistical significance which is harder to reach the smaller the sample. You have a difficult job!

I got a shock just from reading the thread's title,:fearful:
"TASER and the later development of Parkinsons"

Just checked and I still have PD :rolling_eyes:

Perhaps the pepper spray has a lot to answer for today;
not mention the bobby's truncheon.

Now that is what I call an offencive weapon, perhapse I should blame my PD on (scrumping) when a boy.
If only I could find that bobby that chased me down the road with his truncheon out! :fearful: Perhaps I could sue him :grin:

If Tasers were a culprit surely every electrician in the land would at some stage develop PD ,as all of them get shocks periodicaly ,it goes with the job, Especially the ham fisted ones ,they get small shocks all the time without even realising it ,