ADHD Drugs Linked To Parkinson’s Disease in New Study

We have long reported on various substances being linked to Parkinson’s disease. Now, WTMA reports that the progressive, degenerative central nervous system disorder that affects motor skills and speech has been linked to certain amphetamines.

A study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Northern California, found that some medications – notably the <"">amphetamines Benzedrine or Dexedrine – used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that are meant to help ADHD patients achieve more defined focus and increase clarity and awareness, could also place those patients at risk for Parkinson’s disease, said WTMA. Findings on the potential defective drug issue were presented this weekend at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

ADHD is a neurobiological development disorder that is typically characterized with hyperactivity and some attentional problems with the behaviors typically occurring together and presenting themselves before the age of seven.

The researchers analyzed data from over 66,000 people who reported use of the amphetamine-based ADHD drugs from 1964 through 1973 said WTMA. The study’s average follow-up was 39 years and the team found that people reported having taken Benzedrine or Dexedrine experienced a 56 percent increased likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease, versus people who did not take the medications, added WTMA.

The study, while provocative, does contain a couple of design flaws, which could render results questionable, said WTMA. The data was self-reported and gathered in one event. Because the information was gathered at one time over a four-decade period, there could be risk factors that were overlooked during the forty year period when information was not being collected and which could have affected the patients’ risk for developing the disease. Self-reporting also tends to present credibility issues.

We recently wrote that the risk for Parkinson’s Disease was linked to two more toxic substances: Rotenone and Paraquat. The link was made in recent research in which people who used either pesticide developed Parkinson’s Disease some 2.5 times more than nonusers, said Science Daily previously.

The research, said Science Daily, was a collaboration between the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an arm of the National Institutes of Health, and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center in Sunnyvale, California.

We previously wrote that prior research found a link between pesticide exposure—this time, Paraquat was also involved—and some cases of Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers have long believed that pesticides may cause Parkinson’s; experiments found that chemicals—specifically maneb, a fungicide and Paraquat, an herbicide—do, in fact, cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms in animals.

The results of another study of 319 Parkinson’s patients and 200 nonParkinson’s-affected relatives found that people diagnosed with Parkinson’s are more than two times likelier to report pesticide exposure over people not diagnosed with the disease. In that study, insecticides and herbicides—specifically citing organochlorines, organophosphorus compounds, chlorophenoxy acids/esters, and botanicals—were responsible for increased risk of developing Parkinson’s.

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