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Amphetamine Use May Increase Parkinson’s Risk [NEWS]

In April 2011, the American Academy of Neurology had a big annual meeting in Hawaii to discuss the state of their field and recent findings. Among those discussion items was a 38-year study on amphetamine users; one of the first to offer observations about the long-term impact of amphetamine use.

Here’s the excerpt from Physician’s Weekly….

Amphetamine Use May Increase Parkinson’s Risk

The Particulars: Amphetamines were once recommended for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease. Recent studies, however, have suggested that this class of drugs may be linked to a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Data Breakdown: Researchers conducted an analysis in 66,438 individuals who did not have Parkinson’s disease at baseline and collected information on exposure to amphetamines. Through a mean follow-up of 38.8 years, 1,154 patients received a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The average age at baseline was 36, and the average age at diagnosis was 70. Individuals who reported often taking amphetamine sulfate or dextroamphetamine sulfate had a 56% greater risk of having a Parkinson’s diagnosis decades later. The magnitude of the relationship was similar for both men and women. Participants who reported taking weight-loss medication at baseline did not have an elevated risk for Parkinson’s disease through follow-up (hazard ratio, 0.95).

Take Home Pearls: The use of amphetamines appears to be associated with an elevated risk for developing Parkinson’s disease later in life. Considering the wide population exposure to both legal and illegal amphetamines, more studies are needed to address this association.

Thanks to Joanne for the tip!

1 Response to “Amphetamine Use May Increase Parkinson’s Risk [NEWS]”

  1. Tyler says:

    I’ve expected this for years since they plug into the basal ganglia. Also explains why cigarette smokers don’t get Parkinson’s (nicotine inhibits the reuptake of dopamine). Dextroamphetamine forces the dopamine out of the cell.

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