Rosacea Linked to Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Onset in Danish Population Study

Rosacea Linked to Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Onset in Danish Population Study

Patients with rosacea may be at an increased risk of new-onset Parkinson’s disease, according to a Danish population study, “Exploring the Association Between Rosacea and Parkinson Disease: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study,” published in JAMA Neurology.

Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by transient or persistent centrofacial erythema as well as concomitant telangiectasia, papules, and pustules. Its pathogenesis remains uncertain, but an increase in the activity of a family of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases seems to play a role. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) also show an increase in these enzymes’ activity, which contributes to neuronal loss.

Alexander Egeberg, MD, PhD, from the University of Copenhagen, and colleagues investigated the risk of incident (new-onset) Parkinson’s disease in people with rosacea, using Danish population data spanning Jan. 1, 1997, to Dec. 31, 2011.  A total of 5.4 million people, age 18 or older, were included in the cohort study. Of these people, 22,387  received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease during those years (mean age, 75.9) , and 68,053 were registered as having rosacea (67.2 percent women; mean age of 42.2 years).

The incidence rates of PD were 3.54 per 10,000 person-years in the general population, and 7.62 per 10,000 person-years in people with rosacea. PD was also found to occur about 2.4 years earlier in those with rosacea. Tetracycline therapy, a drug commonly used to treat rosacea, appeared to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.

Researchers, while suggesting a link between rosacea and PD, emphasize that this study is limited to the Danish population and does not prove causation. “Further studies are needed to confirm this observation and its clinical consequences,” the authors wrote.

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AbbVie’s product, DUOPA, is a fresh approach to the administration of carbidopa and levodopa for the treatment of motor fluctuations that afflict people with advanced Parkinson’s disease. A researcher, in an exclusive interview with Parkinson’s News Today at the recent  10th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy), in fact, called it “a wonderful tool.”

The carbidopa and levodopa combination is widely recognized as an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease-associated motor fluctuations, but the chemical properties of these drugs require patients to ingest large volumes of water throughout the day, making the oral administration onerous for a variety of reasons. DUOPA is a gel suspension of levodopa/carbidopa administered using a small, portable infusion pump that delivers the medication directly into the small intestine for 16 continuous hours daily.

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