According to recent research, women are more likely to develop symptoms of Parkinson’s disease at an earlier age and experience increased severity once diagnosed, compared to men. This is a concerning development: understanding what puts women at higher risk can help us create better treatment options while raising awareness about this disease. In this article, we will explore how scientists are studying these gender differences to better understand the mechanisms responsible for Parkinson’s disease, especially for women.

This study adds other female risk factors for Parkinson’s disease.

It is true that age is the main risk factor for Parkinson’s disease in both sexes. Advanced age increases the likelihood of developing the disease due to hormonal changes and other biological processes associated with aging. Although men are twice as likely to suffer from this type of neurodegenerative disease, mortality and disease progression are higher in women.

According to the study led by epidemiologist Marianne Canonico, several female risk factors for Parkinson’s disease have been identified. These include increased age of menarche (the first period), decreased ovarian function, and multiple pregnancies.

Studies have shown that women who have their first menstrual cycle before or after the age of 12-13 may have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life. Researchers believe this is because periods that start early or late may suggest hormonal imbalances or a sign of premature aging that can increase the risk of conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

Declining ovarian function due to menopause also appears to be associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. This is likely due to reduced estrogen which helps protect dopamine-producing neurons from damage and may alter enzyme activities related to oxidative stress. Additionally, women who enter menopause before the age of 45 are at even higher risk than those who enter menopause later in life.

How could estrogen protect the female organism from this type of neurodegenerative disease?

Estrogen has been shown to have a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease (PD) by regulating dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate movement, emotion, cognition, and behavior. PD is thought to occur when there is an imbalance of dopamine in the brain. Estrogen has been found to stimulate dopamine production and protect against cell death caused by oxidative stress.

In addition to its protective effects on dopamine levels, estrogen may also be able to reduce inflammation in the brain associated with PD.

Studies suggest that high levels of inflammation are linked to an increased risk of developing PD, so reducing inflammation with estrogen may help prevent or delay the onset of symptoms.

In addition, estrogen has been found to increase levels of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, which can promote neuron survival and growth. In other words, estrogen can not only prevent cell death, but also promote neuron growth, which could benefit people with PD.

Finally, estrogen can also act as an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals or toxins like pesticides or herbicides that are linked to PD risk. In summary, estrogen may act in multiple ways to protect women against Parkinson’s disease, including regulating dopamine levels, reducing inflammation, promoting neuron survival and growth, and acting as an antioxidant to cells.

Why is multiple pregnancy linked to this neurodegenerative disease despite the high estrogen level during this period?

Although several hypotheses have been made in this direction, further scientific research is needed to establish the link between multiple pregnancy and PD and to find the most appropriate treatment option in this case.

The first hypothesis admits that Parkinson’s disease is more common after multiple pregnancies because the hormones and other biochemicals released during pregnancy can have long-term effects on the body. Specifically, it has been suggested that these changes can trigger inflammation in the brain and nervous system, leading to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease over time.

Another hypothesis is that women with multiple pregnancies produce less of certain substances called neurotrophic factors, which are essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells. Without sufficient neurotrophic factors, nerve cells can die or become damaged over time, increasing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Also, due to the physical strain associated with repeated deliveries over a short period of time, women may experience chronic stress that can lead to oxidative damage in the body, which is linked to a high risk of Parkinson’s disease. .

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