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Past exposure to neuroleptics is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's disease

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Question: What is the long-term risk of developing Parkinson's disease after past exposure to neuroleptics?

People: A total of 3726 people aged 65 years and over (41.8% male, mean age 74.9 years) who were living at home and did not have parkinsonism at baseline. Participants were randomly selected from the electoral rolls with stratification by age, gender and size of the demographic unit.

Setting: Two districts, South West France; 1988–2004.

Risk factors: Past use of neuroleptics (dopamine receptor antagonists, such as flunarizine or cinnarizine). Drugs used regularly or daily were assessed by questionnaire at baseline, and 3, 5, 8, 10, 13 and 15-years’ follow-up and also by visual inspection of participants’ medications.

Outcomes: Probable Parkinson's disease (PD, diagnosed according to the UK PD Society Brain Bank (UKPDSBB) criteria) and parkinsonism and other parkinsonian syndromes (such as vascular parkinsonism and drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP)). DIP was defined as parkinsonism and current or previous use of dopamine receptor antagonists in the past 3 months to a year (depending on the drug used) which remitted on drug withdrawal. Persistent DIP was excluded (parkinsonism and causative drug use at …

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