Amphetamine Use Could Increase Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease

According to a study, people who have used amphetamines such as dexedrine and benzedrine appear to be at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Dexedrine and Benzedrine are amphetamines frequently prescribed to enhance focus for individuals having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as narcolepsy, a condition that can result in excessive daytime sleepiness and also unexpected episodes of sleep. They’re also used for treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

The research involved 66,348 individuals with an average age at the beginning of the study of 36 years old. 1,154 individuals had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s by the conclusion of the study.

Exposure to amphetamines was established by 2 questions: 1 on the use of drugs for losing weight and a 2nd question on whether people often made use of Dexedrine or Benzedrine. Amphetamines were among the drugs regularly used for losing weight when this information was collected.

According to the research, those individuals who reported using Dexedrine or Benzedrine were nearly 60% more likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who did not take the drugs. There wasn’t any increased risk found for those individuals who used drugs for losing weight.

If further research confirms these results, the potential risk of developing Parkinson’s disease from these kinds of amphetamines will have to be considered by doctors prior to prescribing these drugs and also be incorporated into amphetamine abuse programs.

Amphetamines affect the release and uptake of dopamine, the main neurotransmitter involved in Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s Disease Infographic

Image Source: Mount Sinai

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