Increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in patients with schizophrenia

A new study conducted at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder have an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease later in life. The increased risk may be due to alterations in the brain’s dopamine system caused by dopamine receptor antagonists or neurobiological effects of schizophrenia.

The record-based case-control study was carried out at the University of Turku in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland. The study examined the occurrences of previously diagnosed psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in over 25,000 Finnish Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients treated in 1996-2019.

In the study, patients with Parkinson’s disease were noted to have previously diagnosed psychotic disorders and schizophrenia more often than the control patients of the same age not diagnosed with PD.

– Previous studies have recognised several risk factors for PD, including age, male sex, exposure to insecticides, and head injuries. However, the current understanding is that the development of PD is due to a joint effect of different environment, hereditary, and patient-specific factors. According to our results, a previously diagnosed psychotic disorder or schizophrenia may be one factor that increases the risk of PD later in life, says Doctoral Candidate Tomi Kuusimäki from the University of Turku who was the main author of the research article.

Study changes conception of the association between Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia

PD is currently the most rapidly increasing neurological disorder in the world. It is a neurodegenerative disorder that is most common in patients over 60 years of age. The cardinal motor symptoms include shaking, stiffness and slowness of movement. In Finland, circa 15,000 patients are currently living with a PD diagnosis.

In Parkinson’s disease, the neurons located in the substantia nigra in the midbrain slowly degenerate, which leads to deficiency in a neurotransmitter called dopamine. As for schizophrenia, the dopamine level increases in some parts of the brain. In addition, the pharmacotherapies used in the primary treatment of PD and schizophrenia appear to have contrasting mechanisms of action. PD symptoms can be alleviated with dopamine receptor agonists, whereas schizophrenia is commonly treated with dopamine receptor antagonists.

– The occurrence of Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia in the same person has been considered rare because these diseases are associated with opposite alterations in the brain’s dopamine system. Our study changes this prevailing conception, says Kuusimäki.

Advertisement:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Living with Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Caregivers
  • Okun MD, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 04/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Robert Rose (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Parkinson's Disease For Dummies
  • Horne, Jo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 08/16/2022 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Ray Dorsey MD (Author) - Alex Hyde-White (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/17/2020 (Publication Date) - PublicAffairs (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
The New Parkinson's Disease Treatment Book: Partnering with Your Doctor To Get the Most from Your Medications
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ahlskog PhD MD, J. Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 09/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
Parkinson's: How to Reduce Symptoms Through Exercise
  • Meldrum, Kristine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 223 Pages - 12/14/2023 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 6
A Parkinson's Primer: An Indispensable Guide to Parkinson's Disease for Patients and Their Families
  • Vine, John M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 150 Pages - 04/11/2017 (Publication Date) - Paul Dry Books (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 7
Fighting Parkinson's...and Winning: A memoir of my recovery from Parkinson's Disease
  • Shifke, Howard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 282 Pages - 11/16/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
  • Weiner, William J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 344 Pages - 12/01/2013 (Publication Date) - Johns Hopkins University Press (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 9
Parkinson's and the B1 Therapy
  • Bryan PhD, Daphne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 108 Pages - 03/09/2022 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.