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The Link Between Hep C and Parkinson’s Disease

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. February 15, 2016

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Pending further study results, Parkinson’s might be added as a possible extrahepatic manifestation of chronic Hepatitis C.

New research suggests that those with chronic Hepatitis C are more susceptible to developing Parkinson’s disease than those without Hepatitis C. The two illnesses do not appear to be related; Hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection of the liver and Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurological problem. However, the Hepatitis C virus has been known to escape the confines of the liver and deleteriously affect other parts of the body.

Hepatitis C

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million people in the U.S. have chronic Hepatitis C. Despite Hepatitis C’s high prevalence, the majority of those infected are undiagnosed because symptoms typically take decades to appear.

Most commonly transmitted via infected blood, Hepatitis C causes chronic liver disease in approximately three-quarters of those who acquire the virus. Unfortunately, chronic Hepatitis C can lead to severe liver problems such as liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure. Although medications to eradicate Hepatitis C are improving rapidly, those who are unaware of their infection and those who do not respond to or are ineligible for treatment are vulnerable to the hazards of chronic liver disease.

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http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/extrahepatic.pdf, Extrahepatic Manifestation of HCV, Alan Franciscus, Retrieved February 7, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.

http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/neurology/parkinsons-disease/, Parkinson’s Disease, Patrick Sweeney, Retrieved February 7, 2016, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2016.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/basics/causes/con-20028488, Parkinson’s Disease, Retrieved February 7, 2016, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2016.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/304405.php, Hepatitis C may raise risk for Parkinson's, Honor Whiteman, Retrieved February 3, 2016, MediLexicon International, Ltd, 2016.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852066, Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Risk Factor for Parkinson's Disease, W. Y-Y, Wu, et al, Retrieved February 3, 2016, Journal of Viral Hepatology, 2015.

https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?symptoms, Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms, Retrieved February 7, 2016, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, 2016.

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_156376.html, Hepatitis C May Be Tied to Greater Risk for Parkinson's Disease, Mary Elizabeth Dallas, Retrieved February 3, 2016, US National Library of Medicine, 2016.

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