Women's fertile lifespan linked to Parkinson's riskWomen with longer fertile lifespans have a lower risk of contracting Parkinson's disease Parkinson's disease or Parkinsonism, degenerative brain disorder first described by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1817. When there is no known cause, the disease usually appears after age 40 and is referred to as Parkinson's disease. , according to medical research in the United States published Wednesday.
"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," said the authors of the study.
A woman's fertile lifespan stretches from her first menstruation to menopause. Women with fertile lifespans longer than 39 years had 25 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson's, compared to women with ones 33 years or shorter, said the researchers, who will presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is a professional society for neurologists and neuroscientists. As a medical specialty society it was established in 1949 by A.B. Baker of the University of Minnesota to advance the art and science of neurology, and thereby promote the best , April 25-May 2 in Seattle, Washington.
They also found that women who had four or more pregnancies were 20 percent more at risk for Parkinson's than those with three or fewer pregnancies.
And women who underwent hysterectomy hysterectomy (hĭstərĕk`təmē), surgical removal of the uterus. A hysterectomy may involve removal of the uterus only or additional removal of the cervix (base of the uterus), fallopian tubes (salpingectomy), and ovaries , or surgical menopause surgical menopause Gynecology Cessation of native estrogenic activity after bilateral oophorectomy in a premenopausal woman , had almost twice the risk of developing Parkinson's. The risk was double if they had previously taken hormone therapy Hormone therapy
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hormone therapy and stopped than if they had never taken hormone therapy.
Taking hormones did not have any effect on Parkinson's risk for women who had natural menopause, the researchers said.
"This study does not support a role for treatment with hormone therapy in Parkinson's, but there are still many unanswered questions," said study author Rachel Saunders-Pullman, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) is a graduate school of Yeshiva University. It is a private medical school located in the Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus of Yeshiva University in the Morris Park in Bronx, New York.
The study, funded in part by the US National Institutes of Health, involved 74,000 women with natural menopause and 7,800 with surgical menopause.
Because Parkinson's disease is more common in men than in women, researchers have long hypothesized about the role of hormones in the disease.