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Parkinson: evidence of interactions between disease and climate change thanks to a "statistically-sound" research in "The Journal of Climate Change and Health", conducted by Roberto Buizza, Full Professor at Sant'Anna, with scientists of AOUP and IFC-CNR

Publication date: 20.05.2022
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It was published in "The Journal of Climate Change and Health" the study conducted by Roberto Buizza, Full Professor in Physics at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, together with Renata Del Carratore (Researcher of the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the CNR, Pisa) and Paolo Bongioanni (Spinal Cord Injuries Operative Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, President of the Onlus NeuroCare, Pisa) that brings out new evidence of correlation between climate change and Parkinson Disease (PD). The illness is classified as “a chronic and degenerative disorder, affects more than 6 million patients in the world (over 2.5 times the value reported in 1990) and is characterized, classically, by tremor, balance deficit, cognitive and neurovegetative dysfunctions”.

The research consideres the “variations between 1990 and 2016 of PD patients’ indices (prevalence, deaths, and disability-adjusted life years) and climate indices (warming and annual average temperature) for 185 countries. Countries were clustered in four categories, depending on whether they had higherthan- median or lower-than-median warming, and higher-than-median or lower-than-median temperature. For all four clusters, we assessed the relationship between variations in PD patients’ indices, and climate indices. Results indicate that for the cluster of the 25 countries characterized by warmer-than-averagevclimate conditions and more intense warming (the HT-HW cluster), there is a link between climate change-induced warming and PD patients’ epidemiological data between 1990 and 2016. More 16 precisely, results indicate that for these 25 countries, there is a significant correlation of about 25% between the warming index and the variations in the PD patients’ epidemiological indices”.

Thanks to the cooperation between these experts, the study has led to an important result: “this is the first time”, as the authors emphasize, “that a statistically-sound link between climate change and the epidemiological data of PD patients has been found and documented”. The authors anticipate the next steps: “our findings could be confirmed by studies based on larger diachronic databases relating to both climatic variations and epidemiological parameters of PD patients, and subjects suffering from other neurodegenerative diseases”.


Click here for read the full paper.