Washington, February 7 : Calcium channel blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure may cut the risk of Parkinson's disease as well, say researchers.
The researchers say that their findings are based on a study of 7,374 men and women over age 40.
Christoph R. Meier of the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland has revealed half of the subjects had Parkinson's disease, while half were non-sufferers.
The study's author also revealed that nearly half of the participants in both groups used high blood pressure medications like calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, AT II antagonists, and beta blockers.
It was found that people who were currently long-term users of calcium channel blockers to treat high blood pressure lowered their risk of Parkinson's disease by 23 per cent as compared to those who did not take the drugs.
No such effect was found among people taking ACE inhibitors, AT II antagonists and beta blockers.
"Long-term use of calcium channel blockers was associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease while no such association was seen for other high blood pressure medicines," said Meier.
Meier says that more research is needed to determine why calcium channel blockers appear to offer a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, while the other high blood pressure medications do not.
The findings of the study have been published in the medical journal Neurology.