On the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, a researcher examined 35 patients with atypical Parkinson's disease and compar...

Maroun on March 16, 2019

Question for why E is wrong and A is correct

Hi, It is concluded that these foods CAUSE parkinsons, but nothing is mentioned on its effect once you have the disease. It is because of this that I am inclined to choose E because it provides something that these foods have, that other foods do not, that can CAUSE the disease.

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Jacob-R on March 17, 2019

Hi @Maroun,

I’m happy to help. In order to understand why E is wrong and A is correct, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for the answer that most strengthens the reasoning in the passage. So what was that reasoning?

Let’s start with the conclusion: The researcher concludes that eating “these fruits” (custard apple, pomme cannelle, soursop) causes atypical Parkinson’s. That conclusion was based on research that found that all of the patients with atypical Parkinson’s that she examined regularly ate those fruits, whereas only 10/65 healthy patients examined ate those fruits.

What answer would strengthen that reasoning? Answer A looks like a good bet: it tells us that many of the patients with atypical Parkinson’s had symptoms that “stopped getting worse and in some cases actually abated” when they stopped eating those fruits. That is a good indicator that there is a causal relationship between eating the fruits and the disease. While you are entirely correct that this answer discusses symptoms rather than causing the disease itself, surely symptoms abating may be an indication that the fruits have an impact on the disease — and therefore perhaps its cause as well? At the very least, it strengthens the hypothesis, which is what the question is asking us.

Answer E on the other hand just tells us about what vitamins those fruits contain, but does not tell us anything about why essential vitamins would cause the disease. I get what you are saying, but there is definitely a stronger linkage between symptoms : causing disease versus vitamins (which we don’t know anything about) : causing disease. So answer A is better!

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.