Family history of melanoma linked to Parkinson's disease

Feb 16, 2009

People with a family history of melanoma may have a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.

The study involved nearly 157,000 people who did not have Parkinson's disease. They were asked if their parents or siblings had been diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Researchers then traced their progress for a period of 14 to 20 years. During that time, 616 of the people were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers found that people with a reported family history of melanoma were nearly twice as likely to develop Parkinson's as people with no family history.

"The results from this study suggest that melanoma and Parkinson's could share common genetic components," said study author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, of the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, MA. "More research needs to be done to examine the relationship between these two diseases."

Other studies have shown that people with Parkinson's disease have a greater risk of developing melanoma.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Don't let chronic heartburn spoil your Thanksgiving feast

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Relatives of melanoma patients ignore their skin cancer risk

Feb 21, 2011

It is well known that sunbathing increases the risk of skin cancer and that this risk is increased in people with a family history of melanoma. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public He ...

Breast-healthy lifestyle worthwhile, study confirms

Oct 12, 2010

Having a family history of breast cancer can lead some people to wonder if their risk is out of their control. However, a study of more than 85,000 postmenopausal women observed that regular physical activity, maintaining ...

Recommended for you

Long wait yet for Ebola vaccine: experts

5 hours ago

It will be months, at least, before a vaccine becomes available to tackle Ebola, experts said Thursday as researchers reported success in early, safety tests with a leading candidate.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.