Infections or Sepsis Preceding Clinically Diagnosed α-Synucleinopathies: A Case-Control Study

Shemonti Hasan, Michelle M. Mielke, J. Eric Ahlskog, James Bower, Pierpaolo Turcano, Rodolfo Savica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies have proposed a role for infections to induce an inflammatory response triggering Parkinson's disease. This remains controversial and the influence of severe infections on other α-synucleinopathies (Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Parkinson's disease dementia, and Multiple System Atrophy) has not been adequately investigated. Objectives: To assess the association between hospitalization-required infections or sepsis and risk of clinically diagnosed α-synucleinopathies. Methods: Using the medical records-linkage system (Rochester Epidemiology Project), we identified all α-synucleinopathy cases of in Olmsted County (1991–2010). Cases were matched by symptom-onset age and sex to controls. We reviewed complete medical records to detect hospital-required infections or sepsis preceding clinical-motor onset of α-synucleinopathies. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate the odds ratio of all α-synucleinopathies, adjusting for medications, coffee, and smoking. Results: There was no association between infection-related hospitalization (odds ratio: 1.05; 95% confidence interval: 0.78–1.40; P = 0.76) or sepsis (odds ratio: 0.86; 95% confidence interval: 0.40–1.85; P = 0.70) and all α-synucleinopathies in multivariable analyses. We did not identify any associations after stratifying for type of α-synucleinopathy, sex, and age at clinical-motor onset. We analyzed sepsis separately with similar results. Conclusion: We did not observe any associations between infections leading to hospitalization or sepsis and development of any α-synucleinopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1684-1689
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • case-control
  • infection
  • parkinsonism
  • sepsis
  • α-synucleinopathies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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