Scientists from the University of Eastern Finland found two rheumatoid arthritis drugs show potential for lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The research is published in Neurology and was conducted by Anne Paakinaho et al.
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 of 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.
For more information about Parkinson’s disease, please see recent studies that this stuff in berries may prevent and reverse Parkinson’s disease and results showing common high blood pressure drugs may prevent Parkinson’s, and dementia.
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