As it is essential to maintain know-how of all lethal diseases, Parkinson’s disease is one that can’t be ignored. PD, as it is also known, can make a person seriously ill to an extent that he/she may go through excruciating pain every day. Parkinson’s disease is a progressively degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which affects the control of body movements. The cause of this disease is unknown and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options like medication and surgery that can come to the rescue and to an extent, keep a check on it and manage its symptoms. Previous studies have already effectively associated hypertension and Parkinson’s with a team from the University of Basel publishing a paper back in 2008 suggesting that some medications for high blood pressure also reduce the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease. However, the exact connection between the two conditions has been unknown. Previous research indicated that consumption of dairy products as well as statins could lead to a greater risk of Parkinson’s, while wine could delay the onset. A collaboration between British and Italian scientists, the study analysed data from the worldwide Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) database sponsored by US actor and Parkinson’s patient Michael J Fox. The team set out to look at whether certain markers of Parkinson’s disease were different in early untreated Parkinson’s patients with and without hypertension, and if so, to what extent. Some of the markers included in the study were neurological parameters, various biomarkers — medical signs which help identify a disease — and levels of dopamine, as low levels are known to contribute to movement problems in Parkinson’s patients. The team also looked at motor and non-motor symptoms. From the data the team found evidence that those with hypertension suffered from a more serious form of Parkinson’s disease than patients with normal blood pressure. “It became clear that patients with hypertension exhibit motor symptoms of a greater severity such as muscular rigidity or a slowing of voluntary motor functions as well as a reduced capacity in the affected basal ganglia,” said one of the study’s authors Dr Beniamino Giordano.

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