Study finds Parkinson’s treatment may actually speed up disease

Statins, once thought to help prevent the onset of Parkinson’s disease, may actually accelerate symptoms in people who are vulnerable to the disease, according to a new study from researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Though previous research on the matter has shown that the use of statins may help protect against Parkinson’s, Penn State researchers say that those results have been inconsistent. In the new study, researchers used insurance data to compare over 2000 patients with Parkinson’s to a control group of people who did not have the disease and found that those who took statins had a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s.

“Statin use was associated with higher, not lower, Parkinson’s disease risk, and the association was more noticeable for lipophilic statins, an observation inconsistent with the current hypothesis that these statins protect nerve cells,” said Xumei Huang, MD, a professor of neurology. 

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