FRIDAY, January 28, 2022 (Health News) – two rheumatoid arthritis drugs show the potential to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s diseasenew research shows.
Some previous research has found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, and it has been suggested that a class of rheumatoid arthritis drugs called antirheumatic disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) may play a role in this reduced risk.
To find out more, the researchers analyzed data from thousands of patients in Finland.
Use of most DMARDs – including methotrexate, sulfasalazinegold preparations or immunosuppressants – at least three years before Parkinson’s disease, the diagnosis was not linked to the risk of disease in those with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the journal Neurology.
However, the researchers found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who took DMARDs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine had a 26% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Both of these drugs affect immune system and have been shown to have anti-Parkinson’s potential in animal studies, according to researchers. But animal studies often differ from those in humans.
The new study led by Anne Paakinaho from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland in Kuopia.
Her team called for further research into the possible protective effects of drugs against Parkinson’s disease.
Study – funded by Michael J. Fox Foundation for Research on Parkinson’s Disease – long-term controlled with rheumatoid arthritis, age, sex and other health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease are unclear, the study’s authors said in a statement.
Previous studies have linked rheumatoid arthritis to Parkinson’s disease. But they gave conflicting findings, with rheumatoid arthritis associated with a lower or higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The Parkinson’s Foundation has more on Parkinson’s disease.
SOURCE: University of Eastern Finland, press release, January 24, 2022.