GOING to church slashes your risk of Parkinson’s by up to 90 per cent, research reveals.
Regular worship is thought to boost levels of dopamine, the brain chemical which plays a critical role in how the disease develops.
And the findings may explain why the disease is on the rise in countries with low levels of religious faith.
Birmingham University researchers asked 7,124 British and 2,672 US people about the role of religion in their lives.
Participants were then tracked over eight years.
Those who considered religion “not at all important” were ten times more likely to develop Parkinson’s than the most devout.
It is the first time the connection has been made, say the researchers.
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition which kills cells that produce dopamine.
The chemical acts as a messenger to control movement — hence sufferers are prone to uncontrollable shaking.
But writing in the Journal of Religion and Health the researchers said: “Engagement in religious activities could modify dopamine levels in brain regions linked to Parkinson’s.”
The disease affects 145,000 Britons but there is no cure.
Source: The Sun