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Association between inflammatory bowel disease and Parkinson’s disease: seek and you shall find?
  1. Petra Weimers1,
  2. Jonas Halfvarson2,
  3. Michael C Sachs3,
  4. Jonas F Ludvigsson4,5,
  5. Inga Peter6,
  6. Ola Olén7,8,9,
  7. Johan Burisch1
  1. 1 Department of Gastroenterology, North Zealand University Hospital, Frederikssund, Denmark
  2. 2 Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  3. 3 Unit of Biostatistics, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  5. 5 Department of Pediatrics, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden
  6. 6 Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, New York, USA
  7. 7 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  8. 8 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Sachs’ Children and Youth Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  9. 9 Department of Clinical Science and Education Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Petra Weimers, Department of Gastroenterology, North Zealand University Hospital, Frederikssund 3600, Denmark; malin.petra.ulfsdotter.weimers.01{at}

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We read with great interest the article by Villumsen et al 1 about the association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Villumsen et al estimated the risk of developing PD to be 22% higher in a Danish IBD population than in a non-IBD population.

During the last decade, evidence has accumulated that shared biological mechanisms are involved in the development of IBD and PD.2 However, the clinical co-occurrence of IBD and PD has only been investigated to a limited extent and with inconsistent results.3–5 Thus, concerns have been raised about how best to interpret this possible association.

In a recently published article by our group, we too demonstrated a positive association between PD and IBD.6 We observed that Swedish patients with IBD were at 30% higher risk of subsequently developing PD than were non-IBD individuals. Furthermore, that patients with IBD had higher …

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