Diabetes may increase risk of Parkinson’s

New research funded by Parkinson’s UK has identified further evidence that diabetes may increase risk of Parkinson's.

The results show diabetes can contribute to the loss of brain cells in Parkinson's by activating oxidative stress, a type of stress that happens when toxic byproducts of cellular reactions, known as free radicals, start to build up.

Commenting on the study, published in Movement Disorders, Dr Beckie Port, Research Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “While the connection between Parkinson’s and diabetes has been known for some time, this latest research is a very exciting step towards a deeper understanding of the link between the two conditions.  

“Researchers have been interested in the potential of existing diabetes medication to protect people from Parkinson’s and even slow the loss of brain cells caused by the condition - something no known treatment can do.
“Our work in this area is paving the way to develop treatments that target the underlying causes of Parkinson’s, not just mask the symptoms, as current treatments do. By slowing or halting cell damage before it starts, we could stop Parkinson’s in its tracks, truly improving the lives of people living with this devastating condition.”


Media enquiries: 

For more information please contact Molly Horsburgh at [email protected] / 0207 963 9351 or the Parkinson’s UK press office: [email protected] / 0207 963 9370 or 07961 460248 (out of hours)

For advice, information and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk, or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.

About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK 

Anyone can get Parkinson’s, young or old. In the UK, around 145,000 people are already living with Parkinson’s. Every hour, two more people are diagnosed.

Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.

But we know we’re close to major breakthroughs. By funding the right research into the most promising treatments, we get closer to a cure every day.

Until then, we're here for everyone affected by Parkinson’s. Fighting for fair treatment and better services. Making everyone see its real impact. 

We are Parkinson's UK. Powered by people. Funded by you. Together we'll find a cure.

Advice, information and support is available via our website, www.parkinsons.org.uk, or our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303