Parkinson's disease 'linked to melanoma and prostate cancer'

4 September 2012

A study has revealed that people with Parkinson's disease and their relatives could be at an increased risk of prostate cancer and melanoma.

It has long been suspected that neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson's disease, could share common pathogenic mechanisms with some cancers.

Research published in the journal Archives of Neurology revealed that a significantly increased risk for prostate cancer and melanoma was found in Parkinson's disease patients, as well as their relatives.

Authors noted: "These data argue strongly for a significant shared genetic risk for specific cancers on the one hand and neurodegeneration on the other.

"These studies provide a framework for future definition of the precise nature of shared genetic variation leading to neurodegeneration in some individuals, but skin or prostate cancers in others, and they may influence strategies for skin and prostate cancer screening," the authors conclude.

This follows research that people with Parkinson's disease could improve their memory by getting a good night's sleep.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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