Loneliness linked to the onset of Parkinson's disease


Using a large population-based sample of nearly 500,000 individuals from the UK Biobank, findings showed that loneliness was associated with risk of incident Parkinson disease (PD) across demographic groups and was independent of depression and other prominent risk factors and genetic risk.

Published in JAMA Neurology, the prospective cohort study included 491,603 participants aged 38 to 73 years with loneliness data and without a diagnosis of PD at baseline, first assessed from 2006 to 2010.

During the 15-year follow-up, 2822 patients developed PD, with increased risk observed in those who reported being lonely (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.25-1.51).

To the study authors knowledge, this was the first trial to examine the association between loneliness and risk of subsequent PD.

Terracciano et al provided notes on the plausible and non-mutually exclusive interpretations of the observed association between loneliness and PD. They hypothesized that the association could be due to unaccounted for confounding factors or residual confounding due to imprecisely measured covariates. Another possible interpretation was that PD neuropathology may be associated with a rise of loneliness in the preclinical or prodromal stages of the disease, implicating potential reverse causality.

Fuente: JAMA Netw Open