The researchers looked at medical records from 1990 through 2005 of nearly 300,000 patients. Of those, 40,472 were hospitalized for methamphetamine use. That group had a 76 percent greater chance of having Parkinson’s than either of two comparison groups: nonaddicts hospitalized for appendicitis and cocaine abusers.
Statistically, the rate of Parkinson’s among the methamphetamine abusers was 21 per 10,000 and 12 per 10,000 in the general population.
Long-term implications could be significant, said Callaghan: “Given that methamphetamine and other amphetamine stimulants are the second most widely used illicit drugs in the world, the current study will help us anticipate the full long-term medical consequences of such problematic drug use.”
Read about the possible use of a common medication to lower Parkinson's risk in Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/10/32.2.full.