A recent study published in Dermatologic Surgery confirmed the known association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and melanoma, which is that having either disease increases your risk of the other. But, it went a step further to look for reasons underlying the connection. Through a literature search, researchers from the University of Minnesota found several factors related to a higher risk for PD. These included a family history of melanoma, lighter hair and skin color, and certain environmental and genetic factors.
Multiple environmental and genetic causes likely contribute to both melanoma and Parkinson’s disease. By evaluating these factors in each condition, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of not only the individual diseases but also the link between the two. Additional research is necessary and MJFF is funding several efforts in this area.
While having Parkinson’s disease increases risk of melanoma, it doesn’t guarantee it. Knowing about the association between PD and melanoma, you can be proactive and take steps to limit your risk as much as possible. Read more about strategies to prevent and detect melanoma from Rachel Dolhun, MD, movement disorder specialist on staff at MJFF.
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