In a new study, researchers found that taking a particular type of medication to treat an enlarged prostate is linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The findings provide compelling evidence that terazosin, and similar medications, might have the potential to prevent or delay the development of Parkinson’s disease.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Iowa.
In the study, the team used data on almost 300,000 older men from two large, independent patient datasets.
They examined whether taking terazosin is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease.
The findings build on previous preclinical research by the team, which showed that terazosin enhances cellular energy levels and can prevent or slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease in animal models.
In the current study, the team extended these findings to examine whether terazosin, and related drugs that can also enhance cellular energy production, are linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Using the U.S. and Danish databases, the team identified 150,000 men newly started on terazosin or similar medications and matched them, based on age and clinical history to 150,000 men newly started on tamsulosin.
They then tracked the health data on these men to determine how many in each group developed Parkinson’s disease.
They found men taking terazosin were 12 to 37% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease during follow-up than men taking another prostate drug tamsulosin.
Additionally, the team found that a longer duration of use of the energy-enhancing prostate drugs was associated with increased protective effects.
The team says if these results are confirmed through further investigation, especially a randomized clinical trial, terazosin may provide protection and potentially prevent—and not just manage—Parkinson’s disease.
One author of the study is Jacob Simmering, Ph.D., UI assistant professor of internal medicine.
The study is published in JAMA Neurology.
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