Ovarian ablation before menopause increases the risk of Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is one of the three main diseases of the elderly, along with dementia and stroke. As the population ages, the incidence is increasing worldwide. However, recent research has shown that removing both ovaries before menopause can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a disease of the central nervous system, several years later.

Parkinson’s disease is more common in women than men. ㅣ Source: Getty Image Bank

Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disease in women
Why are there more cases?

Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disease in which movement disorders such as muscle stiffness, body tremors, and slow movements are caused by the loss of cells that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is secreted in parts of the brain which controls movement.
“Parkinson’s disease shows movement disorders such as tremors (slow movements), resting tremors, muscle stiffness, and gait disorders,” said Dr. Kyung-Pil Oh (Mediin Hospital), neurology consultant at Haidak. It needs constant control,” he said. He said. In addition, he said, “If symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are detected, a detailed examination should be carried out by a neurologist, and the symptoms can be controlled by medication management.”
According to the current status of Parkinson’s disease treatment in Korea published by the National Health Insurance Corporation (health insurance treatment data), the number of people treated for Parkinson’s disease in 2020 was 111,312, up from 96,764 in 2016, five years ago , by 14,548 (15%). This is an average annual increase of 3.6%. There were 46,369 male patients and 64,943 female patients, 16% (18,574) more female than male patients.
Looking at the composition of the number of people treated by age group, 37.9% (42,172 people) were in their 70s, followed by 36.5% (40,603 people) over 80, and 18.7% (20,819 people) their 60s. appeared as Parkinson’s disease appears to be more common in women over 70 years of age. Why is Parkinson’s disease more common in women?

In women who had an oophorectomy before the age of 43
5 times more incidence of Parkinson’s disease

In October 2022, a research team from Dr. Walter A. Rocca, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, in the JAMA Network Open, a journal of the American Medical Association, that bilateral oophorectomy before menopause is associated with Parkinson’s disease • related research findings.
The research team compared the medical records of 2,750 women who had bilateral oophorectomy between 1950 and 2007 with those of 2,750 women of similar ages who had not had an oophorectomy. As a result, there were 32 Parkinson’s disease patients in the group where both ovaries were resected and 21 in the control group where no ovaries were resected. Parkinsonism, a degenerative disease with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, occurred in 50 patients in the ovariectomy group and 32 patients in the control group.
According to the study, women who had both ovaries removed before the age of 43 were five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women in the same age group who did not have their ovaries removed. However, women who had an oophorectomy at an older age did not have an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The research team explained, “This supports the hypothesis that early withdrawal of the female estrogen hormone may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.” Ovaries are the main source of estrogen in the female body. When both ovaries are removed before menopause, estrogen levels drop sharply. In other words, estrogen’s ability to protect the brain is lost. Therefore, Parkinson’s disease is twice as common in women as in men. The research team said, “This suggests that estrogen, a female hormone, has the effect of protecting dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease. “Instead, it increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease. .”
Oophorectomy is performed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer or benign tumors in the ovaries, such as ovarian cysts. At this time, there are cases where the ovaries are also removed to prevent ovarian cancer, and this study found that oophorectomy before menopause increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Dopamine is the key to relieving the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disease, and ‘aging’ is the biggest risk factor. Currently, there are no drugs that can prevent or reverse the development of Parkinson’s disease. However, currently used medications help control symptoms. Drugs such as pramipexole, ropinirole, and apomorphine generally mimic the function of dopamine in the brain to relieve tremors and control movement. This determines the type and dose of medication taking into account the patient’s age, activity level, and side effects. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly consult a neurologist about your symptoms.
The key to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is to supplement dopamine, which is deficient. If the patient is taking a drug that can affect dopamine transmission, the patient’s symptoms may worsen. Additionally, if there is no response to the drug or if it is difficult to take the drug due to severe side effects, the patient can be evaluated and surgical treatment, Deep Brain Stimulation, can be considered.

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