Development of Parkinson’s disease in patients with Narcolepsy
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- Christine, C.W., Marks, W.J. & Ostrem, J.L. J Neural Transm (2012) 119: 697. doi:10.1007/s00702-011-0761-z
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Although amphetamine drugs can damage dopaminergic axons, it is unknown whether chronic treatment with amphetamine increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). Of 1,152 consecutive PD patients, 3 had a prior diagnosis of narcolepsy. This rate is five times higher than expected (p = 0.02). These patients had typical onset of narcolepsy and underwent treatment with amphetamine. Although preliminary, this observation raises the possibility that some factors intrinsic to narcolepsy or its treatment may be a risk factor for PD.