Young adults with Type-2 diabetes may be at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life, according to a study. The findings showed that those with Type-2 diabetes had a 31 per cent greater risk of a later diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease than those without diabetes. The risk was even higher for younger people, aged 25 to 44. In addition, those with complications from diabetes had a 49 per cent greater risk of a later diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease than people without the disease. “Restoring the brain’s ability to use insulin could potentially have a protective effect on the brain,” said Thomas T. Warner, from Britain’s University College London (UCL).
“It is possible that a link between Type-2 diabetes and Parkinson’s could affect future diagnosis and treatment of these diseases,” Warner added. For the study, detailed in the journal Neurology, the team identified more than 2 million people who were admitted to the hospital for Type-2 diabetes for the first time.
They were then compared to more than 6 million people without diabetes who were admitted to the hospital for a range of minor medical and surgical procedures like sprains, varicose veins, appendectomy and hip replacement. “Our study found a strong link between these two seemingly different diseases. Whether it is genetics that may play a role in the development of these diseases or they have similar pathways to development needs to be investigated further,” Warner explained.