- Medicines prescribed for asthma and high blood pressure might increase the risk of Parkinson's disease.
- The use of asthma medicine halves the risk of getting Parkinson's, but one type of medicine against high blood pressure doubles the risk.
- The findings were given after analyzing more than 100 million prescriptions ordered over the last 11 years in Norway and indicates new treatment strategy for Parkinson's.
One of the risk factors for Parkinson's disease is the high expression of the α-synuclein gene (SNCA). But certain drugs may mitigate this risk.
Parkinson's disease destroys the brain cells that control body movements. Shivering, stiff arms and legs and poor coordination are typical symptoms of Parkinson's. The symptoms may develop slowly, and it sometimes takes time to make a correct diagnosis.
‘Drugs which are prescribed for asthma reduces the risk of Parkinsonís but those prescribed for blood pressure might increase the risk.’
A large study that included data from the Norwegian Prescription Database, in cooperation with researchers at Harvard University analysed more than 100 million Norwegian prescriptions registered since 2004.
"Our analysis of data from the whole Norwegian population has been decisive for the conclusion in this study," says Professor Trond Riise at IGS. He leads the registery study in Norway.
Asthma - Blood Pressure Drugs
The treatment of Parkinson's was linked to prescriptions of asthma medicine and the medicine for high blood pressure. It enabled the researchers to see the connection between medicine use and illness.
The UiB-researchers were able to make these comparisons by using the prescription database. The Norwegian analysis was done after researchers at Harvard University found these effects of the medicines in animal tests and in experiments with brain cells in the lab. Their results showed that these different medicines had opposite effects on the risk of Parkinson's.
New Treatment For Parkinson's
To find out if these medicines had the same effect on humans, the researchers at Harvard University started to collaborate with the Norwegian research team, and their unique resource of having access to the unique and large Norwegian database, where all Norwegian prescriptions are registered.
"We analysed the whole Norwegian population and found the same results as in the animal testing at Harvard University. These medicines have never been studied in relation to Parkinson's disease," says Riise.
Trond Riise underlines the fact that "Our discoveries may be the start of a totally new possible treatment for this serious disease. We expect that clinical studies will follow these discoveries."
- Shuchi Mittal et el.,β2-Adrenoreceptor is a regulator of the α-synuclein gene driving risk of Parkinson's disease, Science (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf3934.