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J Neurol. 2015 Sep;262(9):2171-6. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7828-y. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

Artistic occupations are associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. cahaaxma@hotmail.com.
2
Parkinson Centre Nijmegen, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. cahaaxma@hotmail.com.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and HTA, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
4
Institute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Neurology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
6
Parkinson Centre Nijmegen, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is preceded by a premotor phase of unknown duration. Dopaminergic degeneration during this phase may lead to subtle cognitive and behavioural changes, such as decreased novelty seeking. Consequently, premotor subjects might be most comfortable in jobs that do not require optimal dopamine levels, leading to an overrepresentation in structured and predictable occupations, or an underrepresentation in artistic occupations. In a case-control study, 750 men with PD (onset ≥40 years) and 1300 healthy men completed a validated questionnaire about their lifetime occupational status. Occupations were classified using the RIASEC model. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for the conventional and artistic categories, both for the most recent occupation before symptom onset, and for the very first occupation. Because farming has been associated with a PD risk, ORs were calculated separately for farming. A reduced risk of PD was found for men with an artistic occupation late in life (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.04-0.53), while an artistic first occupation did not prevent PD (OR 0.72, CI 0.32-1.59). Conventional occupations showed no increased risk (recent: OR 1.07, CI 0.70-1.64; first: OR 1.14, CI 0.77-1.71). In support of previous reports, farming was associated with an increased risk of PD (recent: OR 2.6, CI 1.4-4.6; first: OR 2.7, CI 1.6-4.5). PD patients were older than controls, but various statistical corrections for age all lead to similar results. Artistic occupations late in life are associated with a reduced risk of subsequent PD, perhaps because this reflects a better preserved dopaminergic state. No initial occupation predicted PD, suggesting that the premotor phase starts later in life.

KEYWORDS:

Artistic; Case–control study; Occupations; Parkinson’s disease; Premotor

PMID:
26138540
PMCID:
PMC4768224
DOI:
10.1007/s00415-015-7828-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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