Parkinson’s Disease

Prostate drug Terazosin may possibly lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in men

Men taking terazosin indicated they were 12 to 37% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease during follow-up than men taking tamsulosin. Parkinson’s disease is a progressively debilitating condition that can be traumatic for both, the patient and the caregiver. This neurodegenerative condition causes tremors and stiffness and leads to difficulty in walking and talking. It progresses gradually and initial symptoms may be easily missed during onset and progression. Currently, no cure is available for this condition, and hence, the best measure is to focus on prevention rather than cure, and steps can be taken to delay progression of the disease. Several interventional therapies have proven to help, but not essentially act as a cure. Results of recent studies indicate that taking a particular type of medication, like the one used to treat an enlarged prostate, is associated with reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease among men. Findings have been published in the JAMA Neurology journal, and provide compelling evidence that terazosin, and similar medications, might have the potential to prevent or delay the development and/or progression of Parkinson’s disease in men.

Research has indicated that men taking terazosin were 12 to 37 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease during follow-up than men taking tamsulosin. Tamsulosin is another drug commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate. However, unlike terazosin, tamsulosin has no effect on cellular energy production. This however, according to the studies, suggest that is important in terazosin’s protective effect. Findings build on previous preclinical research, which indicate that terazosin enhances cellular energy levels and can prevent or slow-down progression of Parkinson’s disease in animal models. Results of an earlier study indicate that men with Parkinson’s disease who were also taking terazosin and related drugs had exhibited reduced signs, symptoms, and complications of the disease.

The most recent study extends these findings to investigate whether terazosin and related drugs that can also enhance cellular energy production are associated with a reduced risk of the onset of Parkinson’s disease. A study identified 150,000 males who had started newly on terazosin or similar medications and matched them on the basis of age and clinical history against 150,000 males who had newly started on tamsulosin. Results indicated that longer duration of use of the energy-enhancing prostate drugs was associated with increased protective effects.

Experts opine that Parkinson’s disease may not be entirely preventable, but progression can be delayed by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. This includes a healthy diet comprising organic fruits and veggies. Increased intake of folic acids through consumption of dark green and leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, collard greens, asparagus, and okra as part of a regular diet. Consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats also serve to achieve the goal. Exercising regularly also helps, and at least 30 minutes every day works wonders. Stress and anxiety are major factors that can adversely affect the program, and hence, it is best these are kept at bay. Instead indulging in activities that stimulate the mind goes a long way in maintaining good health.

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