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Hypertension patients develop more severe forms of Parkinson's


Researchers: Hypertension associated with more severe forms of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's is a relatively common neurodegenerative disease, the causes of which are still largely unclear. An international team of researchers is now reporting on a link between high blood pressure and Parkinson's disease.

Over 280,000 Parkinson's patients in Germany
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases after Alzheimer's. It affects over four million people worldwide. According to the German Society for Neurology (DGN), more than 280,000 people with Parkinson's live in Germany. The causes of the disease are still largely unclear. So far, there are only very limited treatment options. However, these could be improved by the new findings of a research team. The experts have shown a connection between high blood pressure and Parkinson's disease.

Medications for high blood pressure reduce the risk of Parkinson's
Scientists have long suspected that such a connection could exist. For example, researchers at the University of Basel reported back in 2008 that certain medications for high blood pressure apparently also reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's.

However, it was previously unknown how exactly the two clinical pictures are associated. According to a press release, a British-Italian research team has now been able to demonstrate the connection and make an important contribution to improving the treatment options for Parkinson's patients.

"Our results show that patients with hypertension have more severe forms of Parkinson's disease than patients with normal blood pressure," said Dr. Beniamino Giordano of Kings College, London, at the 3rd congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Amsterdam.

Global database searched
For the study, the researchers said they searched the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) database, which is sponsored by US actor and Parkinson's patient Michael J. Fox.

The main focus of the experts was on whether and to what extent certain Parkinson's markers differed in early-stage patients with and without elevated blood pressure.

Accordingly, motor and non-motor symptoms, neurological parameters, various biomarkers and the dopamine status were examined.

Improvement of Parkinson's symptoms
"It has been shown that patients with hypertension show stronger motor symptoms such as muscle stiffness or a slowdown in voluntary motor function and a reduced absorption capacity in the affected basal ganglia," said Dr. Giordano.

However, he limited: "However, these are still preliminary data, further analyzes will be necessary to elucidate the connections between Parkinson's and high blood pressure."

These findings are said to provide an important impetus for the treatment of Parkinson's. The authors of the study sum up: "The results suggest that optimal hypertension management can also improve Parkinson's symptoms."

Treat high blood pressure
In Germany alone, around 20 to 30 million people suffer from high blood pressure. Hypertension is also one of the most important risk diseases for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation).

You do not have to resort to medication in all cases to lower your blood pressure. Often a healthier lifestyle and home remedies for high blood pressure also help.

In general, smoking cessation, adequate exercise, a low-salt diet and avoiding being overweight are recommended.

In addition, relaxation exercises to relieve stress, such as yoga or autogenic training, can be very effective and positively influence high blood pressure values. (ad)

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