Nav: Home

Bipolar disorder may be linked to Parkinson's disease

May 22, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS - People who have bipolar disorder may be more likely to later develop Parkinson's disease than people who do not have bipolar disorder, according at a study published in the May 22, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Previous studies have shown a relationship between depression and Parkinson's disease, but few studies have looked at whether there is a relationship between bipolar disorder and Parkinson's," said study author Mu-Hong Chen, MD, PhD, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.

For the study, researchers examined a national Taiwanese health database for people were diagnosed with bipolar disorder between 2001 and 2009 and who had no history of Parkinson's disease, for a total of 56,340 people. They were matched with 225,360 people of the same age, sex and other factors who had never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or Parkinson's disease as a control group. Then the two groups were followed until the end of 2011.

During the study, 372 of the people with bipolar disorder developed Parkinson's disease, or 0.7 percent, compared to 222 of those who did not have bipolar disorder, or 0.1 percent.

After adjusting for other factors that could affect the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, such as age, sex, use of antipsychotic medications, and medical issues such as traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular diseases, people with bipolar disorder were nearly seven times as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as people who did not have bipolar disorder.

The people with bipolar disorder who developed Parkinson's disease did so at a younger age than the control group members who developed the disease--64 years old at diagnosis compared to 73 years old.

People who were hospitalized more often for bipolar disorder were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who were hospitalized less than once per year. A total of 94 percent of those with bipolar disorder were hospitalized less than once per year; 3 percent were hospitalized one to two times per year; and 3 percent were hospitalized more than two times per year. Those who were hospitalized more than two times per year were six times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who were hospitalized less than once per year. People who were hospitalized one to two times per year were four times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who were hospitalized less than once per year.

"Further studies are needed to investigate whether these diseases share underlying processes or changes in the brain," Chen said. "These could include genetic alterations, inflammatory processes or problems with the transmission of messages between brain cells. If we could identify the underlying cause of this relationship, that could potentially help us develop treatments that could benefit both conditions."

A limitation of the study is it included only people who sought medical help for their bipolar disorder. Also, the database did not include information on family history of Parkinson's disease or environmental factors that could increase people's risk of developing the disease.
-end-
The study was supported by Taipei Veterans General Hospital and the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Learn more about Parkinson's disease at BrainandLife.org, home of the American Academy of Neurology's free patient and caregiver magazine focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life® on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with over 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Renee Tessman, rtessman@aan.com, (612) 928-6137

Angharad Chester-Jones, achester-jones@aan.com, (612) 928-6169

American Academy of Neurology

Related Bipolar Disorder Articles:

Underlying molecular mechanism of bipolar disorder revealed
Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), with major participation from Yokohama School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and UC San Diego, have identified the molecular mechanism behind lithium's effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder patients.
Researchers develop online support for people with bipolar disorder
An online relapse prevention tool for bipolar disorder offers a 'cheap accessible option' for people seeking support following treatment, say researchers.
Bipolar disorder candidate gene, validated in mouse experiment
Researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea has made a significant breakthrough in the search for the potential root causes of bipolar disorder.
Novel risk genes for bipolar disorder
A research collaboration in Japan, led by Dr. Nakao Iwata, professor at the Fujita Health University, conducted a genome-wide association study of bipolar disorder (BD), and identified novel risk genes.
People with bipolar disorder more than twice as likely to have suffered child adversity
A University of Manchester study which looked at more than thirty years of research into bipolar, found that people with the disorder are 2.63 times more likely to have suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse as children than the general population.
More Bipolar Disorder News and Bipolar Disorder Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...