In a new study from the University of Eastern Finland, researchers found two rheumatoid arthritis drugs show potential for lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Some previous studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a lower risk of Parkinson’s.
It was suggested that a class of rheumatoid arthritis drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may play a role in that reduced risk.
But several studies have yielded conflicting findings, with rheumatoid arthritis being associated with either a lower or higher risk of Parkinson’s.
To learn more, researchers in the study analyzed data from thousands of patients in Finland.
They found the use of most DMARDs—including methotrexate, sulfasalazine, gold preparations or immunosuppressants—at least three years before Parkinson’s disease diagnosis was not linked to the risk of the disease in those with rheumatoid arthritis.
However, the researchers did find that arthritis patients who took the DMARDs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine had a 26% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Both of these drugs affect the immune system and have been shown to have anti-Parkinson’s potential in animal studies, according to the researchers.
But results of animal studies are often different from those in humans. The team called for further investigation of the drugs’ possible protective effects against Parkinson’s.
The study controlled for length of time with rheumatoid arthritis, age, sex and other health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
The team says the risk factors for Parkinson’s disease are unclear and need further research to find out.
If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about new drug that slows down Parkinson’s disease, and dancing with music could effectively halt these Parkinson’s symptoms.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about common foods that could sharp your brain, and cases showing that standing at a church pulpit, a blood vessel burst in her brain.
The study is published in Neurology and was conducted by Anne Paakinaho et al.
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