Epilepsy and hearing loss, warning signs of Parkinson’s disease?

One study suggests some symptoms that may alert the underlying development of Parkinson’s disease.

More than 160,000 French people have Parkinson’s disease and 25,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. This chronic disease develops slowly with a preclinical stage before the first symptoms appear. Typically, patients are asymptomatic until 50–70% of dopamine neurons are destroyed. At that point, the brain is no longer able to compensate.

tremors and memory loss

According to new research conducted by Queen Mary University of London (UK), two specific symptoms are warning signs of the onset of Parkinson’s disease. These findings were published in JAMA Neurology. In fact, hearing loss and epilepsy would be the first manifestations of this progressive neurodegenerative disease.

This discovery will make it possible to make rapid diagnosis and early intervention to improve the quality of life of patients. By identifying those at risk, it will be possible to predict patients at high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease even before other symptoms appear.

To reach these conclusions, the scientists analyzed data from the care records of more than a million patients. For the first time, a study focused on diverse and disadvantaged populations. ,This is the first study on the pre-diagnosis stage of Parkinson’s disease in such a diverse population (…). Until now, minority ethnic groups and people from disadvantaged areas have been underrepresented in Parkinson’s disease research.“, explains the study’s lead author, Dr. Christina Simone, neurologist and doctoral student at Queen Mary University.

“It’s Too Long for Patients to Wait”

Parkinson’s disease often subsides in symptoms such as tremors and memory loss, yet these manifestations appear between ten and five years before diagnosis, according to this study.

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,People see their GP with symptoms but often don’t get a diagnosis until five to ten years later. For example, tremor is one of the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but it was observed ten years before the final diagnosis in our study. Patients have to wait long“, summarizes this study’s co-author Dr. Alastair Noyce.

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