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Long-term use of calcium channel blockers appear to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, while no such association was seen for other high blood pressure medications.

Christoph R. Meier, PhD, MSc, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, studied 7,374 men and women over the age of 40. One-half of the group had Parkinson’s disease, the other half–the control group–had no signs of the disease. In each group approximately one-half used high blood pressure medications, such as calcium channel blockers, AT II antagonists, ACE inhibitors, and beta blockers.

Researchers are not certain why calcium channel blockers appear to protect against Parkinson’s disease and feel additional research is needed to rule out a causal association. Also, they would like to better understand why the other types of high blood pressure medications do not appear to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.

The complete article appears in the current issue of the American Academy of Neurology.