New research shows that there is a link between Hep C and Parkinson’s. “The hepatitis C virus may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in the December 23, 2015, online issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Parkinson’s disease is considered the second most common degenerative brain disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus.
“Many factors clearly play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, including environmental factors,” said study author Chia-Hung Kao, MD, China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan. “This nation-wide study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, suggests that hepatitis caused specifically by the hepatitis C virus may increase the risk of developing the disease. More research is needed to investigate this link.”
The World Health Organization estimates that 130 to 150 million people have hepatitis C worldwide. While hepatitis C can lead to serious illness, many people have few symptoms and do not realize they have the virus, especially at first.
The virus is transmitted through sharing needles, needle stick injuries in health care providers and passed on at birth from infected mothers. In Taiwan during the time of the study, blood transfusions were the most common cause of the virus. In the United States, all donated blood has been screened for the virus since 1992.”
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