Vol 48, No 5 (2014)

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Reproductive life characteristics in females affected with Parkinson's disease and in healthy control subjects – a comparative study on Polish population

M. Nitkowska1, M. Czyżyk2, A. Friedman1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2014.08.004
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2014;48(5):322-327.

Abstract

Background

Sex and blood level of sex hormones play a key role not only in the susceptibility to develop Parkinson's disease (PD) but also influence the natural course of the disease. The aim of this study was to compare reproductive lifespan events in females affected with PD and in “non-parkinsonian” age matched subjects and to evaluate whether the whole life endogenous oestrogen level is associated with variables describing the course of the disease.

Materials and methods

Reproductive lifespan, age at menarche, age at menopause, gynaecological interventions and parity were compared in 76 women with idiopathic PD and in the age-adjusted control group of 74 subjects. Affected women underwent neurological and psychological assessment. Data were analysed using Mann–Whitney U Test and Spearman Rank Correlation Test.

Results

Women affected with PD had a shorter reproductive lifespan and experienced final menstruation earlier than the control group. Early menopause was reported by 24% of the patients and only by 16% of the control subjects. Parkinsonian women reported more commonly the history of surgical menopause. Duration of reproductive lifespan, age at menopause and the type of menopause influenced both motor and cognitive functioning of patients.

Conclusions

There may be a relationship between the lifetime average endogenous oestrogen level and the susceptibility to develop PD. Longer reproductive lifespan resulting in higher “whole life” female sex steroids concentrations may exert a protective effect on central nervous system, resulting in milder course of the disease.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska