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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012 Jun;119(6):697-9. doi: 10.1007/s00702-011-0761-z. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Development of Parkinson's disease in patients with Narcolepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, 400 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0348, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Although amphetamine drugs can damage dopaminergic axons, it is unknown whether chronic treatment with amphetamine increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD). Of 1,152 consecutive PD patients, 3 had a prior diagnosis of narcolepsy. This rate is five times higher than expected (p = 0.02). These patients had typical onset of narcolepsy and underwent treatment with amphetamine. Although preliminary, this observation raises the possibility that some factors intrinsic to narcolepsy or its treatment may be a risk factor for PD.

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