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The Link Between Hep C and Parkinson’s Disease

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

The Link Between Hepatitis C and Parkinson’s

Based on some recent research, one of Hepatitis C’s extrahepatic manifestations may include Parkinson’s disease. Since the nervous system is already a known target of the Hepatitis C virus once it sneaks out of the liver, finding an association with Parkinson’s is not surprising. According to Dr. Chia-Hung Kao of China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, research has suggested that Hepatitis C is neurotropic – meaning it can infect nerve cells and replicate in the central nervous system.

In a study published in the journal Neurology, where Kao was a co-author, Hepatitis C was acknowledged to trigger the death of nerve cells that secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine. Because a decline in dopamine is implicated in Parkinson’s, it is logical that those with chronic Hepatitis C are particularly susceptible to this progressive neurological disease. More specifically, the researchers found that although Parkinson’s is a relatively uncommon illness (affecting 1.5 to 2 percent of people aged 60 years and older), there is a 30 percent greater risk of Parkinson’s for people with Hepatitis C infection.

Although more research on the link between Hepatitis C and Parkinson’s disease is warranted, the preliminary evidence is convincing. We already know that chronic Hepatitis C has extrahepatic manifestations that extend to the nervous system. In addition, the research demonstrating Hepatitis C’s penchant for injury to dopaminergic cells is intriguing. Once conclusive research cements the connection between the two ailments, Hepatitis C will likely be added as a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease development.

Editor’s Note: WebMD states that “the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids may include trimming the chance of developing Parkinson’s disease.” Natural Wellness’ Super Omega-3 Fish Oil is sourced from sardine and anchovy, which contain the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids among fish. It also promotes natural anti-inflammatory actions, which can help support the health of your liver.

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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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