Amphetamines such as Benzedrine and Dexedrine generally prescribed for weight loss may be linked with the threat for developing Parkinson’s disease. A groundbreaking study asserts that individuals employing amphetamines have heightened chances of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The study findings apparently have greater significance in the health-space.

During the study, 66,348 people in northern California with an average age of the 36 years at the start of the study were evaluated. From these subjects, a total of 1,154 were suffering from Parkinson’s disease by the end of the study. Usage of Benzedrine or Dexedrine for treating several disorders and employment of amphetamines for weight loss among each volunteer was examined. It then appeared that people using Benzedrine or Dexedrine were almost 60 percent more likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who didn’t take the drugs.

Authors registered no increased risk among people who used drugs for weight loss alone. The study findings probably have major clinical implications in prescribing the types of amphetamines. Stephen K. Van Den Eeden, PhD, with the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, Calif., study author and colleagues presume that amphetamines influence the release and uptake of dopamine, which is the key neurotransmitter in Parkinson’s disease. Additional investigations can be conducted to affirm the link and understand various mechanisms involved in intake of amphetamines and risk for Parkinson’s disease.

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9 to April 16, 2011.