New study finds link between Parkinson’s disease and 16 types of cancer due to the careful analysis of the medical record registered in the past 50 years.
The State University of Medicine in Taiwan, which has commissioned and conducted the study was mainly interested in getting a clear picture of the situation in the Asian countries, as previous studies have mainly focused on the Western civilizations.
Dr. Pan-Chyr Yang was the leader of the research. He began his study from the hypothesis that an alteration in the PARK2 gene can lead to an increase rate of cancer incidence. For that matter, he has worked with the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database to compare medical records of patients with Parkinson and those without the neurodegenerative disease.
The information related to 62,023 patients suffering from Parkinson and to 124,046 health individuals has been carefully looked into between 20004 and 2010. Patients have also been observed until 2012, so medical experts could determine whether new cancer forms appeared or not.
Results have shown that the respondents with Parkinson’s disease have later on, developed a form of cancer. In most cases, the neurodegenerative disease has led to lung, brain, blood and prostate cancer. The total number of cancer forms amounts to 16 types, but no patterns have been discovered in relation to the patient’s evolution and the exact cancer form.
On the other hand, scientists noticed that participants, who did not suffer from Parkinson, did not develop any form of cancer. In addition, breast and ovarian cancers are not linked in any way to the neurodegenerative disease.
In spite of the great achievement that Dr. Pan-Chyr Yang has made, he still thinks various improvements may be brought to his study. In his opinion, the study should have been complemented by direct observations of the said patients in order to be more accurate.
Second of all, further studies should also take into account the influence of smoke on Parkinson and cancer patients, as the current study did not provide such information.
The findings of the study were published in the medical journal JAMA. The experiment will serve as a ground for future studies of the medical records existing in the Asian regions.
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