Study Suggests Parkinson’s Could Be Linked to Onset of Stroke, Heart Disease

A study recently published in the “Scientific Reports” journal has found a potential link between Parkinson’s, strokes and the onset of heart disease. Researchers behind the study used a two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis to find links associations between cardiocerebrovascular illnesses and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

While some past studies have surmised that cardiocerebrovascular conditions and PD are related, those studies are relatively controversial.

The research team sought to investigate the potential effect of PD on cardiocerebrovascular disorders via the Mendelian randomization method. It leveraged data from 482,730 Europeans in the International PD Genomics Consortium’s publicly available genome-wide association study (GWAS) in order to find a potential connection between Parkinson’s disease and heart disease.

According to the study, 33,647 of the individuals had Parkinson’s disease while 449,056 acted as controls. The research team used five GWAS datasets to obtain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) outcome data.

The researchers studied cardiocerebrovascular diseases such as AF (atrial fibrillation), heart failure, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and large artery stroke. Consequently, the entire dataset was broken down into the following four categories: MI-linked SNP dataset, AF-linked SNP dataset, HF-linked dataset and CAD-related dataset.

Analysis of the data revealed that there was a significant association between Parkinson’s disease and 23 SNPs. Furthermore, a primary inverse variance-weighted risk analysis revealed that PD was associated with an increased likelihood of developing CAD, stroke and cardioembolic stroke.

Analysis methods such as weighted mean,Mendelian randomization-Egger, and simple and weighted modes yielded similar results.

Parkinson’s disease is associated with an increased CAD prevalence because it causes excessive deposition of Lewy bodies, which can result in abnormal function of residual noradrenergic endings, cardiac sympathetic denervation and reduced sympathetic innervation. PD patients have also reported exacerbated severe cardiac norepinephrine deficiencies due to classic PD symptoms such as dementia, tremors, bradykinesia, ankylosis and depression.

Because Parkinson’s disease impacts lipid metabolism, it can also affect the course of cardiovascular disease and elevate the risk of CAD with its progression. The disorder is also associated with a heightened risk of stroke, thanks to the accumulation of Lewy bodies, which can result in ischemic brain damage and neuronal damage through mitochondrial breakage, oxidative stress, autophagy and inflammation.

In summary, the study provides reliable evidence of a connection between Parkinson’s disease and an elevated risk of stroke, coronary artery disease, cardioembolic stroke and ischemic stroke. On the other hand, the research team did not find any connection between Parkinson’s disease and other cardiocerebrovascular disorders.

Hopefully, the success that enterprises such as Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) register in developing effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease could help patients minimize the possible complications, such as heart disease, that arise when neurodegenerative ailments aren’t effectively managed.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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