A new study found that people with bipolar disorder are at a higher risk for Parkinson’s disease. The presence of more severe bipolar disorder also seems to increase the risk even further.
Previous studies have found an association between depression and Parkinson’s disease, but few have investigated the relationship between bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
Recently, the lead author of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital study Mu Hong Chen and colleagues decided to investigate the case.
They have now published the results in neurology.
In Parkinson’s disease, neurons in some parts of the brain gradually die, causing symptoms such as tremor, stiffness, slower movements, and difficulty breathing, swallowing, and speaking.
In the US, doctors diagnose Parkinson’s disease in about 50,000 people per year. About 500,000 people in the US currently suffer from this disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that more people suffer from Parkinson’s disease when we live longer, and that the chances of the disease increase with age.
People with Parkinson’s disease usually use a drug called levodopa to slow brain degeneration.
Parkinson’s risk increased 7-fold
Chen and colleagues examined the health records of 56,340 people diagnosed with bipolar disorder in Taiwan. All were diagnosed between 2001 and 2009. The researchers compared this data with health data in Taiwan with 225,360 without a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers followed both groups in 2011. After analyzing their data, they found that 0.7% of patients with bipolar disorder contracted Parkinson’s during the study and only 0.1% of the control group had Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers have adjusted their findings by considering factors such as treatment, age, gender and history of brain disease and injury, all of which can affect Parkinson’s risk.
After correction, they found that the chances of developing Parkinson’s were seven times greater in participants than in those not diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The team also noted some differences between people with bipolar development who developed Parkinson’s and people without bipolar development who developed Parkinson’s. Average).
It also appears that the severity of bipolar disorder affects the level of risk; People who are hospitalized because of bipolar disorder are most likely to have the highest risk of developing Parkinson’s later in life.
In particular, people who have been hospitalized once or twice a year are four times more likely to develop Parkinson’s than people whose bipolar disorder results in hospitalization or less per year.
For people who have been hospitalized more than twice a year, the risk increase is even greater. People in this group had Parkinson’s disease six times more than people who were hospitalized less than once a year.
However, there are a number of significant limitations for this study. First, scientists only included people who had asked doctors for their bipolar disorder. Many people never seek help.
Second, their health database does not contain information about the family history of Parkinson’s disease. It also does not contain information about environmental factors that can influence the possibility of developing Parkinson’s.
According to Chen, more research is needed to find out whether bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease share some basic processes that can explain the relationship.
“They can involve genetic changes,” he explained, “an inflammatory process or a problem with sending brain cell messages.”
“If we can identify the root cause of this relationship, we might be able to develop therapies that benefit both diseases.”