People who have allergic rhinitis have three times the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Previous research has shown that those taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. So researchers at the Mayo Clinic set out to find out more about a possible link between inflammation and Parkinson’s disease. They studied 196 people who had Parkinson’s disease and compared them with a group of similar age and gender who did not.
Those with allergic rhinitis – or hayfever, an inflammatory condition – were 2.9 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. But no similar link was seen for other inflammatory diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or vitiligo. This may be because there were only small numbers of participants who had these conditions. The researchers say that those with allergic rhinitis exert an immune response to allergens which could affect the brain, leading to Parkinson’s disease. The study does not establish that allergies cause Parkinson’s disease, just that there is an association. Hopefully future research will lead to ways of blocking any inflammation that does cause Parkinson’s disease.
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