Antiepileptic Meds Tied to Elevated Parkinson Threat

Antiepileptics are linked to an elevated threat of Parkinson’s disease (PD), new analysis suggests.

Drawing on information from the UK Biobank, investigators in contrast over 1400 people identified with PD to matched management individuals and located a significantly increased threat of creating PD amongst those that had taken antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) as compared with those that had not. There was a pattern linking a better variety of AED prescriptions and a number of AEDs related to a better threat for PD.

“We noticed an affiliation between probably the most generally prescribed antiepileptic medication within the UK and Parkinson’s illness utilizing information from UK Biobank,” senior creator Alastair Noyce, PhD, professor of neurology and neuroepidemiology and honorary marketing consultant neurologist, Queen Mary College of London, United Kingdom, advised Medscape Medical Information.

“That is the primary time {that a} complete examine of the hyperlink between AEDs and PD has been undertaken,” mentioned Noyce.

He added that the findings don’t have any speedy medical implications, “however additional analysis is unquestionably wanted, [as] that is an attention-grabbing commentary made in a analysis setting.”

The examine was published online December 27 in JAMA Neurology.

Believable, however Unclear Hyperlink

Latest observational research have discovered a “temporal affiliation” between

epilepsy and incident PD, however the mechanism underlying this affiliation is “unclear,” the authors write.

It’s “believable” that AEDs “could account for some or the entire obvious affiliation between epilepsy and PD” and that motion problems are potential unwanted effects of AEDs, however the affiliation between AEDs and PD has “not been effectively studied,” so it stays “unclear” whether or not AEDs play a job within the affiliation.

“Now we have beforehand reported an affiliation between epilepsy and PD in a number of completely different datasets. Right here, we wished to see if it could possibly be defined by an affiliation with the medication used to deal with epilepsy moderately than epilepsy per se,” Noyce defined.

Are AEDs the Wrongdoer?

The researchers used information from the UK Biobank, a longitudinal cohort examine with greater than 500,000 members, in addition to linked main care medicine information to conduct a nested case-control examine to research this potential affiliation. Individuals ranged in age from 40 to 69 years and had been recruited between 2006 and 2010.

The researchers in contrast 1433 people identified with PD to 8598 management individuals who had been matched in a 6:1 ratio for age, intercourse, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic standing (median [interquartile range] age, 71 [65 – 75] years; 60.9{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} males; 97,5{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} White).

Of these with PD, 4.3{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} had been prescribed an AED previous to the date of their being identified with PD, in comparison with 2.5{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} within the management group; 4.4{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} had been identified with epilepsy, in contrast with 1{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} of the management individuals.

The strongest proof was for the affiliation between lamotrigine, levetiracetam, and sodium valproate and PD. There was “weaker proof” for carbamazepine, though all of the AEDs had been related to a better threat of PD.

AED OR (95{75d954d2146f985c5b66d5016801df5bb38447ce203fe2fdd7ac37d1ca31f8c2} CI) P worth
Any 1.80 (1.35 – 2.40) 6.93 × 10−5
Carbamazepine 1.43 (0.97 – 2.11) .07
Lamotrigine 2.83 (1.53 – 5.25) 9.29 × 10−4
Levetiracetam 3.02 (1.51 – 6.05) 1.85 × 10−3
Sodium valproate 3.82 (2.41 – 6.05) 1.17 × 10−8


The chances of incident PD had been increased amongst those that had been prescribed ≥1 AEDs and amongst people who had been issued a better variety of prescriptions, the authors report.

It’s attainable that it’s the epilepsy itself that’s related to the chance of PD, moderately than the medication, and that “probably explains a part of the affiliation we’re seeing,” mentioned Noyce.

“The underside line is that extra analysis into the hyperlinks between epilepsy — and medicines used to deal with epilepsy — and PD is required,” he mentioned.

Furthermore, “solely with time will we work out whether or not the findings maintain any actual medical relevance,” he added.

Different Explanations

Commenting on the analysis for Medscape Medical Information, Rebecca Gilbert, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer, American Parkinson Illness Affiliation, mentioned, “It has been established in prior analysis that there’s an affiliation between epilepsy and PD.” The present examine “reveals that having had a prescription written for one in every of 4 antiepileptic medicines was related to subsequently receiving a prognosis of PD.”

Though one attainable conclusion is that the AEDs themselves enhance the chance of creating PD, “there appear to be different various explanations as to why an individual who had been prescribed AEDs has an elevated threat of receiving a prognosis of PD,” mentioned Gilbert, an affiliate professor of neurology at Bellevue Hospital Heart, New York Metropolis, who was not concerned with the present examine.

For instance, pre-motor adjustments within the mind of individuals with PD “could enhance the chance of requiring an AED by doubtlessly growing the chance of getting a seizure,” and “adjustments within the mind attributable to the seizures for which AEDs are prescribed could enhance the chance of PD.”

Furthermore, psychiatric adjustments associated to PD could have led to the prescription for AEDs, since not less than two of the AEDs are additionally prescribed for temper stabilization, Gilbert advised.

“An unanswered query that the paper acknowledges is, what about individuals who obtain AEDs for causes apart from seizures? Do additionally they have an elevated threat of PD? This might be an attention-grabbing inhabitants to give attention to as a result of it might take away the hyperlink between AEDs and seizure and give attention to the affiliation between AEDs and PD,” Gilbert mentioned.

She emphasised that individuals who take AEDs for seizures “shouldn’t soar to the conclusion that they have to come off these medicines in order to not enhance their threat of creating PD.” She famous that having seizures “could be harmful ― accidents can happen throughout a seizure, and if a seizure cannot be stopped or a quantity happen in speedy succession, mind harm could end result.”

For these causes, folks with “an inclination to have seizures want to guard themselves with AEDs” and “ought to actually attain out to their neurologists with any questions” Gilbert said.

The Preventive Neurology Unit is funded by Barts Charity. The Apocrita Excessive Efficiency Cluster facility, supported by Queen Mary College London Analysis–IT Companies, was used for this analysis. Noyce has obtained grants from Barts Charity, Parkinson’s UK, Treatment Parkinson’s, the Michael J. Fox Basis, Innovate UK, Solvemed, and Alchemab and private charges from AstraZeneca, AbbVie, Zambon, BIAL, uMedeor, Alchemab, Britannia, and Charco Neurotech exterior the submitted work. The opposite authors’ disclosures are listed on the unique article. Gilbert experiences no related monetary relationships.

JAMA Neurol. Revealed on-line December 27, 2022. Abstract

Batya Swift Yasgur MA, LSW is a contract author with a counseling apply in Teaneck, NJ. She is an everyday contributor to quite a few medical publications, together with Medscape and WebMD, and is the creator of a number of consumer-oriented well being books in addition to Behind the Burqa: Our Lives in Afghanistan and How We Escaped to Freedom (the memoir of two courageous Afghan sisters who advised her their story).

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