Skip to comments.Severe flu increases risk of Parkinson's
Posted on 07/22/2012 8:18:59 PM PDT by rjbemsha
Severe influenza doubles the odds that a person will develop Parkinson's disease later in life, according to University of British Columbia researchers. However, the opposite is true for people who contracted a typical case of red measles as children they are 35 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson's.
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-07-severe-flu-parkinson.html#jCp
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...
Encephalitis lethargica or von Economo disease is an atypical form of encephalitis. Also known as "sleepy sickness" (though different from the sleeping sickness transmitted by the tsetse fly), it was first described by the neurologist Constantin von Economo in 1917.
The disease attacks the brain, leaving some victims in a statue-like condition, speechless and motionless. Between 1915 and 1926, an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica spread around the world; no recurrence of the epidemic has since been reported, though isolated cases continue to occur
You may wonder about my age. I was his fourth and last child (all male children), born in 1936 and am now seventy-five years of age. Strangely, my two older brothers also suffered from Parkinson's but my remaining eighty-five year old brother and I have suffered no symptoms.
My grandfather too died around 1918-1919 in the flu pandemic. Both my mother and father must have been exposed to the flu but had no stories to tell about it.
My wife, who is Japanese, has Parkinson’s. Her girlfriend, also Japanese, also has Parkinson’s. As far as I know, Parkinson’s tends to be less common among Northeast Asians than whites. But both she and her friend lived in Madison, Wis during the late 1960s and early 70s. And their Parkinson’s symptoms appeared at the same age.
I wonder if they’re looking at from an immunology angle. How the body reacts to disease-specific inflammation (here the flu) and the role that might play. Perhaps isolate the cells deployed to fight the infection, and how they might affect the dopaminergic system...Parkinson’s is a damn thief.
For whatever its worth, I believe that there is more than one cause of Parkinson’s. I mentioned that my two older brothers had it while my remaining brother and I, both elderly, do not have it. My theory involves the fact that my father worked for the railroad and, for a period of a few years, moved from station to station until finally arriving at his last station in our home town. The two older brothers were born during those moves and I recall my mother once telling me that they drank water from shallow wells during that period. I suspect that had something to do with their Parkinson’s affliction. The only hole in that theory is that my mother never had the disease.
Yes, I too have wondered about the well water in Madison, thinking something like genetic predisposition + something in the well water. We used to visit a Nisei couple at that time, long-term residents of Madison. As I recall, the wife had PD. That would make three Japanese with PD. Hardly a trend, but....