Tags: influenza | parkinson

Severe flu Doubles Parkinson's Risk

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 11:50 AM


People who have even a single bout of severe influenza are twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease later in life than those who aren’t hit as hard by the flu, according to University of British Columbia researchers.
But the same study, published online in the journal Movement Disorders, also found the opposite is true for people who contracted a typical case of red measles as children – they are 35 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson's.
The findings – by researchers at UBC's School of Population and Public Health and the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre – are based on interviews with 403 Parkinson's patients and 405 healthy people in British Columbia, Canada.
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"There are no cures or prevention programs for Parkinson's, in part because we still don't understand what triggers it in some people and not others," said Anne Harris, who conducted the research while earning her doctorate at UBC. "This kind of painstaking epidemiological detective work is crucial in identifying the mechanisms that might be at work, allowing the development of effective prevention strategies."
Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder marked by slowness of movement, shaking, stiffness, and loss of balance.
As part of her research, Harris also examined whether occupational exposure to vibrations – such as operating construction equipment – had any effect on the risk of Parkinson's. She and her collaborators found occupational exposure generally decreased the risk of developing the disease by 33 percent, compared to people whose jobs involved no exposure, but that high-intensity vibrations – for example, by driving snowmobiles, military tanks or high-speed boats – raised Parkinson's risks.


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People who have even a single bout of severe influenza are twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease.
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2012-50-24
Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 11:50 AM
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