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Monday, 25 October 2010

Endometriosis and Parkinson’s disease

There’s not usually much good news when it comes to endometriosis, so I know what some of you may be thinking “Oh no, he’s going to tell us we’re more likely to get Parkinson’s if we have endometriosis” well, you shall be pleasantly surprised to hear that, in fact, I’m going to report the opposite. Well, ok it’s not quite the opposite, but a current study has found that women with endometriosis are no more likely to develop Parkinson’s than those without endo.

The study was carried out by the Boston University School of Medicine and took 12,093 Parkinson’s patients from the Danish National Registry of Patients. The authors then looked at what other estrogen related diseases these women had been diagnosed with before Parkinson’s. It may be news to some of you, it certainly was to me, that estrogen exposure has been associated with Parkinson’s. However, whereas an increase in estrogen exposure is suspected as a causative factor for endometriosis; endogenous (that is, the body’s own) estrogen is thought to be protective against Parkinson’s, this may be the reason that men are more at risk of developing Parkinson’s than women.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. That is to say it is a disease that causes loss of brain cells leading to problems with movement, which gradually gets worse over time. It is a disease that usually affects older people (61 is the average age of onset in the U.S). Like endometriosis there is no single cause for Parkinson’s, which currently cannot be cured, but can be treated. Some of the early signs of Parkinson’s are:
- Difficulty/slowness/stiffness of movement
- Dementia
- Speech changes
- Difficulty chewing/eating
- Changes in mood or sleeping patterns
If you’d like some more information on Parkinson’s follow the link below for some good information
http://parkinsoninfo.org/more_info.asp

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