In a new study, researchers found that bipolar disorder may be linked to a high risk of Parkinson’s disease.
They found that people who have bipolar disorder may be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people who do not have bipolar disorder later in life.
The research was conducted by a team from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.
Previous research has shown that depression is linked to a high risk of Parkinson’s disease. But few studies have looked at whether there is a relationship between bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
In the study, the team analyzed a national Taiwanese health database for people were diagnosed with bipolar disorder between 2001 and 2009.
These people had no history of Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers also examined people with the same age and sex who had never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or Parkinson’s disease.
Both groups were followed until the end of 2011.
The results showed that people with bipolar disorder were nearly seven times as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as people who did not have bipolar disorder.
These people also developed Parkinson’s disease at a younger age than the healthy group—64 years old at diagnosis compared to 73 years old.
In addition, people who were hospitalized more often for bipolar disorder were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who were hospitalized less than once per year.
The team suggests that several factors, such as genetic alterations, inflammatory processes or problems with the transmission between brain cells may play roles in the link.
Future work needs to examine whether these diseases share underlying processes or changes in the brain.
One author of the study is Mu-Hong Chen, MD, Ph.D., of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.
The study is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
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