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Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Reproductive History

February 26, 2009

A new study suggests a woman’s reproductive history could raise or lower her chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. 

The research examined the records of over 80,000 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Observations Study. Researchers discovered women who had more years of a fertile lifespan (number of years from menstruation to menopause) were at a lower risk of developing the disease. They also discovered women with four or more pregnancies were at a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s.  

“These findings suggest that longer duration of exposure to the body’s own (endogenous) hormones may help protect the brain cells that are affected by Parkinson’s disease,” study author Rachel Saunders-Pullman, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, February 2009

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