Jan 11, 2016 12:36 AM EST
Parkinson's disease mainly affects the nervous systems, resulting to muscle rigidity and shaking movements. Hepatitis C, on the other hand, is a disease that affects the liver through an infection in the blood system. However, a recent study shows that researchers have found a link between the two.
The study was done by a team of researchers from China Medical University in Taichung and used the statistics from National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan as the basis. The researchers evaluated over 49,967 people with hepatitis and around 199,868 people without hepatitis. The participants infected with the said disease are then divided into three groups, based on what type of hepatitis they have. The people with hepatitis B have summed up to about 71 percent of the participants; hepatitis C patients are about 21 percent, while those who have both make up the last 8 percent of the group.
Over the course of 12 years, the team of researchers tracked them in order to see the possibility if any of them developing Parkinson's disease. And after that long amount of time, the researchers found out that of those people who were infected by hepatitis prior the start of the period, 270 have developed Parkinson's disease. There were 120 victims belong to the hepatitis C group out of these 270 cases. While those people who were not affected by hepatitis, over a thousand of them developed Parkinson's disease.
After different factors such as age, sex, diabetes and cirrhosis were accounted for and studied, the researchers found out that those people with hepatitis C registered a 30 percent higher chance of acquiring Parkinson's disease than those who are not infected by it. Those with hepatitis B, on the other hand, were on the same level with the uninfected group when it comes to the chances of acquiring the said nervous system disease. However, the study's lead author, Mr. Chia-Hung Kao, M.D., stated that even though their study was able to suggest that hepatitis C can lead to higher risks of getting Parkinson's disease, more studies and researches are still needed to be done in order to fully identify the main link between the two.