Parkinson’s Risk Raised By Methamphetamine Abuse
As if there were not enough factors that influenced the development of Parkinson’s disease, it seems that the disease can also be triggered by methamphetamine abuse.
A new study suggests that methamphetamine abuse is one of the many causes that lead people to develop Parkinson’s disease and the group of researchers involved in the study actually proved this. What they did was to analyze data coming from more than 40,000 people, aged 30 or older, who were hospitalized between the years 1990 and 2005, after they had abused either methamphetamines or amphetamines. These people were compared to more than 200,000 people who were admitted in the same hospital of California for appendicitis and another 35,000 who were admitted for cocaine-abuse, during the same period of time.
According to what the researchers discovered, it seems that people who had abused methamphetamines were 79 more likely than any other person admitted in the hospital during the same period of time to develop Parkinson’s disease. What this means is that over a period of 10 years, 21 out of 10,000 people who were methamphetamine abusers developed Parkinson’s disease, in comparison to only 12 in 10,000 people who did not abuse it. “This study provides evidence of this association for the first time, even though it has been suspected for 30 years,” said the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Russell Callaghan.
Given that Parkinson’s disease is the outcome of very low levels of dopamine in the brain and that methamphetamines have been proven to significantly reduce the amount of dopamine produced by the brain, it is only normal that the abuse of such things to lead to the development of the condition, which affects millions of people all around the world. The researchers also said that this study is not true for patients who need to take amphetamines for medical purposes, as the doses these people take are extremely reduced in comparison to the amount of amphetamines used by addicts and abusers. Furthermore, given that methamphetamines and other such stimulants occupy the second place on the top of the most used illegal drugs in the world, it is only normal that there are so many people suffering from the terrible condition that is Parkinson’s disease.11