A team of scientists has linked a rare skin condition, Rosacea, to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease.
Scientists working at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have linked a chronic inflammatory skin condition known as Rosacea to a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. According to a report from Health Aim, researchers believe the link may have something to do with a single specific enzyme.
The matrix metalloproteinase enzyme was found to be a common thread between rosacea and Parkinson’s disease. The enzyme is known to break down certain tissues in people suffering from rosacea, and is similarly active in cases of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, examined a sample of more than 5.4 people from the Danish population. It found that roughly 68,000 people had been diagnosed with rosacea, and 22,387 had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The scientists found that people with rosacea who eventually developed Parkinson’s disease were diagnosed 2.4 years earlier on average than people who didn’t suffer from the skin condition. It also showed that people who were prescribed tetracyclines, a class of medication used to treat rosacea, were less likely t0 develop Parkinson’s disease than those who left the condition untreated.
The authors theorized that there might be a possible pathogenic connection between the skin condition and Parkinson’s, but showed little evidence supporting the link between the two. There may still be a number of unknown factors that link the two diseases, but the data provides an avenue for new research into the connection.
While the study in no way proved that rosacea caused Parkinson’s, it remains possible that one tiny factor could be influencing the risk of both diseases in a similar way.
“Further studies are needed to confirm this observation and its clinical consequences,” the authors wrote.
A press release from the JAMA Network Journals describing the details of the study can be found here.