Study shows link between Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes

A new study by UCL, University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London researchers suggests that people with type 2 diabetes are 32% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those without diabetes.

Dr Beckie Port, Research Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said:

This study is the most robust evidence to date that there is a link between Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes.

The vast majority of people with diabetes will not go on to develop Parkinson’s. Studies that demonstrate type 2 diabetes is linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s suggest, however, that the two conditions may affect cells in similar ways.

Understanding the link between these two conditions could be key to developing treatments that slow the course of Parkinson’s, something that no current treatments can do.

Currently, there is much interest in the potential for anti-diabetic drugs, such as exenatide, to slow the progression of Parkinson’s. The ability to repurpose these drugs, which are already used to treat people with diabetes, could speed up the delivery of new and better treatments to people with Parkinson’s who urgently need them."

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