Is dry eye disease common in people with Parkinson’s?
Dry eye disease can involve symptoms such as a lower blinking rate and typically occurs when the eyes are not effectively moistened by tears – leading to discomfort and possible vision loss. Now, a recent study from Japan has investigated the previously underexplored relationship between dry eye disease and Parkinson’s. As part of their research, the team analysed 13 studies published between 2004 and 2022, which involved more than 1,500 people with Parkinson’s. Five of the reports highlighted the prevalence of dry eye disease in people with the condition – with 61% experiencing symptoms. “Our findings emphasize the need for clinicians to be vigilant of the presence of dry eye disease when managing [people with Parkinson’s],” the researchers wrote. However, they noted that more research is needed – especially “future large-scale studies” – to help understand the relationship between dry eye disease and the condition.
Highlighting dental care needs among people with Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have published a new study looking into dental care among people with Parkinson’s. Using a national register to obtain data relating to dental care between 2015 and 2019, the team identified 6,874 people with Parkinson’s, whose data was then compared to a control group of 34,285 people without the condition. A key takeaway from the five-year study was that a larger portion of people with Parkinson’s were not regular users of the dental care system – 21%, compared to 16.9% in the control group. The findings published in the journal ‘Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology’ also revealed that people with Parkinson’s utilised more dental-related treatment services than those in the control group – such as fillings and extractions. The researchers concluded: “This knowledge can be used by clinicians and decision-makers to ensure the optimal dental care for persons with Parkinson’s.”
Could risk factors for Parkinson’s disease be “largely man-made”?
New research has highlighted evidence of a potential link between Parkinson’s risk and exposure to toxic environmental factors – including air pollutants and human-made materials. The research was presented at the 147th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association in Chicago, US, as part of a symposium on neurological disorders. The evidence included a study that highlighted that exposure to toxic pollutants may activate genes associated with the condition and that current environmental policies fail to consider the potential long-term effects of neurotoxic chemicals. “The world’s fastest-growing brain disease is largely man-made,” said neurologist Dr Ray Dorsey, one of the symposium speakers, in a press release. “The principal causes are toxic exposures to chemicals synthesised in the labs of chemical companies.” Calling for greater awareness surrounding the issue, he said: “If we educate the communities we’re supposed to serve, we can have them be mobilised and change the course of…