Response from the Mayo Clinic

August 6th, 2003

To the Mayo Clinic,

I just read an article in the NY Times today about your sports medicine department’s inquiries into golfer’s “YIPS” and thought to “cc” you on the letter I sent to the Times editor:

To the Editor,

I certainly hope the Mayo Clinic protocol for investigating “YIPS” in golfers will include toxicological testing. Perhaps they are deficient in the enzymes acetylcholinesterase, easily depleted by organophosphate pesticides/herbicides which are liberally used on golf courses. They cause over-excitation of the nervous system and can effect every organ system. There is also paroxonase (deficient in 15% of adults) which is necessary to the detoxification of certain organophosphates favored in creating that pristine “golf course look”.

Other chemical exposures can cross the blood brain barrier under certain conditions and cause damage leading to movement disorders. However, we should know that pesticides are ubiquitous in our environment and often misused by professionals and lay persons alike. I ought to know since I was disabled by pesticide poisoning and demonstrate tremor and jerky motions when further exposed.

Barbara Rubin
The Mayo Clinic’s response:

Dear Barbara;

Thank you for your e-mail to We value our users’ feedback and appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us. I will certainly forward your e-mail to our staff.

New content is added to every weekday, so we hope you’ll continue to be a frequent visitor to the site.

Mayo Clinic Online Services

Categories: NY Times

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