Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease could include hearing loss and epilepsy, new study finds


According to a recent study, hearing loss and seizures are two new early indicators of Parkinson’s disease. Early detection and treatment of the disease may be made possible through newly discovered traits and other symptoms found in the decades preceding a diagnosis. It is essential that primary care practitioners are aware of these relationships and understand how early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can arise so that patients can be diagnosed in a timely manner.

The neurodegenerative disease has yet to be studied in a large, diverse population in the UK. Although no nationality or socioeconomic status has been associated with the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease, the research nevertheless provides more detailed insight into the impact of the disease on all individuals, even before diagnosis.

Over one million medical records of East Londoners have been reviewed by researchers from 1990 to 2018. East London was chosen by scientists due to its diverse population and significant socio-economic hardship. Approximately 45% of East London’s population is black, South Asian, multiracial or of any other ethnicity.

The experts found a link between epilepsy and a higher likelihood of getting Parkinson’s disease, which was one of their most remarkable findings. Epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease can coexist, as shown by case reports from 2016, which indicated that both conditions could be present at the same time, either prior to or emerging after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The latest research has also discovered that hearing loss can start up to 5 years until a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as a new finding.

According to the study authors, hearing loss may play a role in impaired perceptual manipulation in Parkinson’s disease, who acknowledge that further research is needed in this area. Researchers have shown that this deficiency can be expressed in various ways, including through the senses of sight, hearing and even smell.

The study was published in JAMA Neurology.


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