MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 12, 2005 – Researchers found thatParkinson’s disease (PD) in older men is associated with lower bonemineral density and suggested that physicians should consider screeningolder male patients with PD for osteoporosis. This study is publishedin the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Researcherslooked at a group of nearly 6,000 men, aged 65 and older, including 52with PD, to determine the association between the disease and low bonedensity and falls in older men. Those with PD were found to havesignificantly lower bone density at the spine and hip. Further, PD wasassociated with a nearly three times greater risk of multiple futurefalls.
With lower bone density and the increased risk for falls,older men with PD are more likely to have less dense or “thin” bonesthat are more easily fractured or broken, compared to those who don’thave the disease.
However, because most of the men whoparticipated in the study were community dwelling (rather than innursing homes or similar facilities), largely healthy, and white, thesefindings might not apply to those with more severe PD, to women, tothose in nursing homes, or to other racial groups, the researchersreport.
The researchers suggest that older men with Parkinson'sdisease ask their physicians about having their bone density measured.Patients should also inquire about ways to boost bone density with safeexercises and appropriate doses of such bone-building nutrients such ascalcium and vitamins D and K.
Parkinson’s disease is a treatable,but not curable, nerve disorder that causes worsening tremors,difficulty moving, and balance problems. PD is increasingly common withage and affects about 6 in every 1,000 adults aged 65 to 69, and 30 inevery 1,000 adults older than 80.
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