The factor that could increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease within 15 years

The factor that could increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease within 15 years

Parkinson’s disease: Dr Chris on how to spot early signs

According to recent research, released on October 2, 2023, loneliness is associated with an increased risk of developing the brain disorder.

For the study, the team of researchers analysed the health profiles of 491,603 participants within a 15-year period.

All participants, from the UK Biobank, didn’t have a Parkinson’s diagnosis at the beginning of the study.

Yet, 2,822 ended up receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis within the 15-year follow-up period.

Individuals who reported feeling lonely had a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease; an association that remained after accounting for:

  • Body mass index
  • Parkinson’s disease genetic risk
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Depression.

READ MORE… Ozzy Osbourne’s unexpected hobby to help with Parkinson’s Disease

Loneliness was not, however, a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease for the first five years.

The research suggests that feeling lonely for more than five years increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers noted: “The findings add to the evidence that loneliness is a substantial psychosocial determinant of health.”

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Parkinson’s disease risk factors

A combination of genetic changes and environmental factors may be responsible for the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

The leading charity Parkinson’s UK has invested in pioneering projects that could help to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s.

As the fastest neurological condition in the world, the charity is on a mission to provide more answers and treatments for this devastating disease.

“Right now, new treatments are within our grasp,” Parkinson’s UK notes.

If you would like to support the cause, you can donate to Parkinson’s UK.

Parkinson’s disease occurs when there is a loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain known as the substantia nigra, the NHS explains.

This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

As dopamine decreases, the symptoms of the disease come to light, such as:

  • Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • Slow movement
  • Stiff and inflexible muscles
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
  • Loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
  • Problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • Memory problems.

Anybody experiencing such symptoms should seek the support of their GP.

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