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Clear link between diabetes and Parkinson's

Wednesday March 10th 2021

Researchers have found persuasive evidence that type 2 diabetes may raise the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and may play a role in its progression.

Both type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease are widespread conditions affecting the aging population. In recent years there has been increasing evidence to suggest biological relationships between the two, as both involve similar processes including chronic systemic inflammation.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London, UK, examined the link. In Monday's (8 March) issue of the Movement Disorders Journal they write: "Insulin resistance is a hallmark of type two diabetes and may be an important contributing factor to Parkinson's disease too."

For the new study they combined a meta?analysis of observational figures from six databases with genetic information.

This showed that having type 2 diabetes was linked to a 21% higher chance of developing Parkinson's disease. There was also some evidence that type 2 diabetes was linked to faster progression of motor symptoms and cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease.

In a further statistical analysis, they found "supportive evidence for a causal effect of diabetes on Parkinson's disease risk and some evidence of an effect on motor progression but not on cognitive progression".

They conclude: "Using meta-analyses of traditional observational studies and genetic data, we observed convincing evidence for an effect of type 2 diabetes on Parkinson's disease risk and new evidence to support a role in Parkinson's disease progression."

Researcher Dr Alastair Noyce said: “This brings together the results from many other studies to provide convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes likely affects not only Parkinson’s risk, but also Parkinson’s progression.

"There are many treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes, including prevention strategies, which may be re-purposed for the treatment of Parkinson’s.”

Chohan, H. et al. Type 2 diabetes as a determinant of Parkinson's disease risk and progression. Movement Disorders Journal 8 March 2021 doi: 10.1002/mds.28551

[abstract]

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Diabetes | UK News

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