Diabetes medicine reduces Parkinson's risk

September 25, 2017, University of Bergen
Charalampos Tzoulis (right) and his colleagues, Kristoffer Haugarvoll (left) and Brage Brakedal, hope they are one step closer to a cure for Parkinson´s disease. Credit: Kim E. Andreassen

A Norwegian study shows that the taking of diabetes medicine reduces the risk of getting Parkinson's disease.

Researchers at the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Bergen (UiB) have discovered that against diabetes reduces the risk of getting Parkinson's disease by 35 per cent.

"We have made an important discovery, which takes us a step further towards solving the Parkinson's riddle," says researcher Charalampos Tzoulis. He has lead the study together with researcher Kristoffer Haugarvoll at the same department.

One step further

Tzoulis says that the researchers have to do follow-up studies on the diabetes to fully understand why it protects against Parkinson's disease.

"If we understand the mechanisms behind the protection, then we have a chance to develop a new treatment," Tzoulis says.

Influence the cell's powerhouse

The researchers believe that the diabetes medicines, containing so-called glitazones, are influencing the cells to produce more mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells, transforming nutrients that the cells need to work.

Tzoulis' research group has previously shown that the production of mitochondria decreases during Parkinson's.

100 million prescriptions

To see the connection between and Parkinson's, the researchers analysed and compared data from the Norwegian Prescription Data Base. The database has stored information on all use of prescription the last 10 years and contains data on more than 100 million .

Explore further: Getting closer to treatment for Parkinson's

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