The Connection Between Parkinson's Disease and Melanoma
Parkinson’s disease increases melanoma risk, and people with melanoma are at increased risk for developing Parkinson’s, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that confirms earlier research suggesting a link. Although the association is clear, the reason for it is less so.
For this latest study, researchers evaluated 974 neurologist-confirmed cases of Parkinson’s disease in Olmsted County, Minnesota, using data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project database for melanoma. They compared the results to a control group of 2,922 people who did not have Parkinson's disease. The researchers identified 1,544 cases of melanoma and determined the subjects’ 35-year Parkinson’s risk, then compared that to the risk for 1,544 people without melanoma.
They found that people with Parkinson’s were four times more likely to have a history of melanoma and people with a history of melanoma were four times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The connection may be related to common genetic, environmental, or immune system irregularities in both conditions.