The risk of Parkinson’s disease has been found to be higher in patients with rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness in the face. The researchers from Copenhagen found that among five million Danes, those with rosacea were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to those without it. It’s important to note that the researchers merely uncovered an association between the two conditions and not a cause-and-effect relationship.
Lead researcher Dr. Alexander Egeberg said, “Rosacea is a common facial skin disorder affecting up to 10 percent of light-skinned individuals, women in particular. It is possible that rosacea, or rosacea-associated features, such as facial flushing, may contribute to Parkinson’s disease diagnosis at an early stage.”
The researchers did find that it was the condition rosacea that was associated with Parkinson’s disease risk, and not rosacea treatment. The researchers found that the risk of Parkinson’s disease in patients with rosacea was reduced when taking medication for the skin condition.
Although the link between the two conditions isn’t fully understood, researchers speculate that the increased levels of an enzyme that breaks down protein found in rosacea may play a role in Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative disorders.
Rosacea patients in the study were not only found to have a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease, but they also developed Parkinson’s disease years earlier than those without rosacea.
The findings were published in JAMA Neurology.