Immobilization and lack of sunlight exposure cause accelerated bone loss in people with Parkinson’s disease, increasing their risk of hip fracture. But taking the bone-building drug Actonel with vitamin D seems to lessen the risk of fractures in elderly men with Parkinson’s disease, even though they continue to have frequent falls.
A Japanese study was conducted that involved 242 men aged 65 to 85 with Parkinson’s disease, who were not totally disabled and who were otherwise healthy. All of the men took vitamin D and 121 also took Actonel (2.5 mg daily).
After 2 years, the rate of falls per subject did not differ between the groups; however fewer men taking Actonel plus vitamin D suffered a hip fracture.
There were three hip fractures in the Actonel group and nine in the vitamin D only group — a relative risk reduction of 67 percent.
Dr. Yoshihiro Sato, from Mitate Hospital in Tagawa and associates note that the rate of hip fractures, even in the Actonel group, was still much higher than that seen in the general population.
Sato’s team also observed that bone mineral density increased on average by 2.2 percent in the Actonel group and decreased by 2.9 percent in the vitamin D only group.
So, even though the subjects suffered from vitamin D insufficiency and disuse, Actonel was of benefit. The authors suggest that treatment with vitamin D along with Actonel may provide even greater benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease.