Neuroepidemiology

Neuroepidemiology is a branch of epidemiology involving the study of neurological disease distribution and determinants of frequency in human populations.

At the Institute of Public Health, research focuses on migraine and the relation between migraine and cardiovascular diseases.

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Neuroepidemiology at the Institute of Public Health

The project is focusing on the association between migraine and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD). Migraine is ranked as one of the most disabling neurological diseases in adulthood. The one year prevalence of migraine is 6% in men and 18% in women. Migraine pathophysiology involves complex neuronal cascades that may be triggered by environmental, and genetic factors. PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease and affects approximately seven million people globally. The costs of Parkinson's disease to society are high.

As both migraine and PD are disorders of the brain and involve some similar mechanisms, it has been speculated that migraine may be a risk factor for PD. However, only recently a large population-based study found an association between the two neurological disorders. Confirmation of these findings are urgently needed as the care and treatment of patients with migraine may be affected.

The study main objective is to assess the association and consequences of migraine on PD using the Physicians Health Study and the Women's Health Study.