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Neurodegenerative disorders

N Grotewold & R L Albin, 2024. Update: Protective and risk factors for Parkinson disease, Parkinsonism Related Disorders.

Update: Protective and risk factors for Parkinson disease

N Grotewold and R L Albin
Parkinsonism Related Disorders
June 24, 2024


We review the epidemiologic literature on potential protective and risk factors in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Prior research identified numerous possible protective and risk factors. Potential protective factors include tobacco abuse, physical activity, urate levels, NSAID use, calcium channel blocker use, statin use, and use of some α1-adrenergic antagonists. Some potential protective factors could be products of reverse causation, including increased serum urate, tobacco abuse, and coffee-tea-caffeine consumption. Potential risk factors include traumatic brain injury, pesticide exposure, organic solvent exposure, lead exposure, air pollution, Type 2 Diabetes, some dairy products, cardiovascular disease, and some infections including Hepatitis C, H. pylori, and COVID-19. Potential non-environmental risk factors include bipolar disorder, essential tremor, bullous pemphigoid, and inflammatory bowel disease. There is an inverse relationship with PD and risk of most cancers. Though many potential protective and risk factors for PD were identified, research has not yet led to unique, rigorous prevention trials or successful disease-modifying interventions. While efforts to reduce exposure to some industrial toxicants are well justified, PD incidence might be most effectively reduced by mitigation of risks, such as Type 2 Diabetes, air pollution, traumatic brain injury, or physical inactivity, that are general public health intervention targets.

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