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Working to lower your Parkinson’s Disease risk

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 8:37 AM EDT
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Nearly one million people are living with Parkinson’s disease in the U.S. and about 60,000 more are diagnosed with it each year. But can you lower your risk of getting this neuro-degenerative disorder? Ivanhoe reports on intriguing new research.

Parkinson’s is a disease that affects movement causing tremors, stiffness, slowness, and more.

“The pattern of their movement is notable. But also, it affects many of other functions of the brain such as sleep, mood, sometimes cognition,” stated Hooman Azmi, MD, FAANS, a neurosurgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center.

But are there ways to stop the disease before it starts? In a recent study, scientists followed more than 41,000 people for 18 years. During this time, 465 developed Parkinson’s. They found patients with the highest intake of vitamins C and E had a 38 percent reduced risk of Parkinson’s.

Exercise might be another way to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s. According to the Harvard Health Letter, exercising in your thirties and forties decades before Parkinson’s typically occurs may reduce your risk of developing the disease by about 30 percent. Other evidence has shown people who consume caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Drinking coffee also reduces the risk by up to 30 percent. Green tea and beer may also have a protective effect.

When it comes to exercising to lower Parkinson’s risk, some experts believe the exercise needs to be vigorous to make a difference. On the flip side, other studies have shown that dairy products, especially milk, may increase Parkinson’s disease risk.

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