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Report Links Frequent Migraines And Parkinson's Disease

by Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Could people who have migraines be more likely to develop Parkinson's disease? According to a report out of Taiwan, this may be the case.

Remember, I am talking about an association and not a cause and effect reaction. According to the research having two migraine diagnoses in one year was associated with a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease over about three years.

Over 40,000 people, above the age of forty, were part of the study. During follow up, 148 patients in the migraine group and 101 patients in the non-migraine group were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. This is considered statistically significant.

The researchers are not sure why this is the case, but one theory is that both migraines and Parkinson's disease are the result of alterations in the way neurotransmitters in the brain send signals, in particular serotonin and dopamine.

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