Men's Health

A Prostate Drug May Save People from Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that damages the dopamine-producing cells in the brain, leading to tremor and balance problems. But taking a common medicine used for enlarged prostate in men can lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a new study published in the Journal JAMA Neurology.

The research team from the University of Iowa in collaboration with other researchers from China and Denmark worked on a large-scale observational study hoping to find out a prevention plan for Parkinson’s disease. They found some highly compelling evidence on common medicine terazosin, and many similar medicines to delay and save from the disease progression.

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This studied analyzed data obtained from two large patient databases including nearly 300,000 men. The data was taken from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan database (US) as well as National Health Registries (Denmark) hoping to find the effects of terazosin, a prostate medicine on Parkin’s disease development.

Parkinson’s disease affects the movement and commute of a person, hindering common/routine activities. It is a chronic condition that progresses with time making the symptoms go worse every year. It can cause motor and non-motor symptoms including sleeping disorders, digestive issues, anxiety, in addition to tremors, stiffness of muscles, bradykinesia, etc.

Most Parkinson’s disease patients are old age patients but it sometimes also hits younger ones. Right now nearly 1 million US population is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and this number increases to nearly 10 million all across the world.

Based on clinical data, the symptoms of Parkinson’s show up after a person crosses 50 but it doesn’t mean that Parkinson’s is not common in younger people. Surprisingly, 10% of all Parkinson’s disease (PD) are diagnosed in middle-aged people who are far behind the ’50s. It gives a thought that planning some preventive plan for middle-aged people especially those who are at high risk can save them from the disease progression in older age.

This study used the findings from an existing study suggesting that terazosin somehow changes the energy levels at the cellular level which can slow down Parkinson’s signs in animal models. This previous study also reported that people who were using terazosin medicine reported lower onset of Parkinson’s disease in later years.

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Terazosin is a commonly available medicine that is used to treat large prostate problems in men. Tamsulosin is a similar medicine that also does this same but it doesn’t affect the energy production at the cellular level like terazosin. So these two drugs were used as a control group and study group.

Based on this analysis, the research team was successful to build a comparison on whether terazosin and all other similar drugs which target cellular energy production can lower the risk of  Parkinson’s disease.

Tracking data to the men in each group reported that using terazosin can lower the risk of Parkinson’s by 37% as compared to men who were using tamsulosin. In addition to that, a longer duration of using any energy-boosting prostate medicine is linked with enhanced and better effects against Parkinson’s disease.


Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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