Men are twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease

November 13, 2000

ST. PAUL, MN - Parkinson's disease occurs in men two times more frequently than in women, according to a study in the November 14 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study followed for three years a group of 4,341 elderly Italian people with no signs of Parkinson's. During that time, 29 men and 13 women developed Parkinson's disease, and another 14 men and 12 women developed symptoms of Parkinson's disease due to other causes, such as dementia or stroke.

The rate of new cases of Parkinson's disease among people ages 65 to 84 is 326 per 100,000 people each year, according to the study. The rate for those with any symptoms of Parkinson's is 530 per 100,000 people each year.

Researchers don't know why Parkinson's is more common in men. One theory is that estrogen protects women from the disease.

The study also found that the risk of developing Parkinson's for both men and women increases with age. That finding lends weight to the theory that Parkinson's is a result of the interaction between normal aging and environmental or genetic risk factors, according to study author Marzia Baldereschi, MD, of the Italian National Research Council in Firenze, Italy.
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Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 500,000 people in the United States.

A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 16,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its Web site at www.aan.com. For online neurological health and wellness information, visit NeuroVista at www.aan.com/neurovista.

For more information contact:
Sarah Parsons (651) 695-2732

American Academy of Neurology

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