Type 2 Diabetes and Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that affects the nervous system (Parkinson’s disease: Early signs, causes, and risk factors). The symptoms develop gradually over time and can even lead to dementia. Most of the symptoms result from a decreased dopamine levels in the brain and in most people, symptoms appear at the age of 60 years or over.
In a recent study “Type 2 Diabetes as a Determinant of Parkinson’s Disease Risk and Progression”, researchers explored the relationship between diabetes and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Their goal was to investigate whether Type 2 diabetes can be a determinant of Parkinson’s disease. Through a meta-analysis of observational studies, they found that Type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Results showed that Type 2 diabetes led to a faster progression of impaired motor movements and cognitive decline. It is important to consider that the majority of the observational data was from patients of European ancestry and that the effect of Type 2 diabetes on Parkinson’s disease progression may differ by ethnicity.
Given that Type 2 diabetes symptoms develop over time, early diagnosis is crucial. It is also advisable to get a screening for Parkinson’s disease for Type 2 diabetic patients. If more evidence is provided that Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are associated, treatment strategies for Type 2 diabetes should also be considered for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
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