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Calcium-based heart drugs 'could reduce heart risks'

Calcium-based heart drugs 'could reduce heart risks'
2nd February 2010

New research has suggested that drugs used to treat heart problems could reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

Publishing results in the Annals of Neurology journal this week, researchers at the UCLA School of Public Health along with the Danish Cancer Society compared medical histories of 1,931 people with Parkinson's and a further 9,651 people without it.

People who took heart medications known as calcium channel blockers had their chance of developing Parkinson's decreased by 26 per cent to 30 per cent.

Dr Kieran Breen, the director of research and development at the Parkinson's Disease Society, said that people with Parkinson's disease can also be prone to low blood pressure, which could in effect be worsened by taking calcium channel blockers "inappropriately".

He added: "We now need studies that can tell us exactly how calcium affects the nerve cells involved in Parkinson's. Then we can develop treatments that produce the maximum benefits."

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