The heights of Parkinson’s

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Being tall is considered desirable in many cultures.

Recent research suggests that height may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s.

In today’s post, we will review this new research and try to understand what it could mean.

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Wadlow (back row on the left). Source: Telegraph

Robert Pershing Wadlow was always in the back row of school photos.

Born February 22nd 1918, Wadlow’s birth certificate indicated that he was “normal height and weight“, but from that point onwards, there was nothing normal about his rate of growth.

By the time, Robert was 8 years old, he was taller than his father (he was 6 foot/183cm). And eight years later when he turned 16, Robert was 8 foot 1 (2.47 m)… and he was still growing.

Here is a picture of him with his family at 19 years of age:

Source: Businessinsider

Robert was the tallest person in recorded history, and at the time of his death – at the tragically young age of 22 – Robert was almost 9 feet tall (8 ft 11; 2.72 m)… and still growing! (due to hyperplasia)

While not quite reaching the same lofty heights as Robert, I can sort of relate to his situation. You see, in addition to being freakishly good looking, I’m also on the tall side side of things.

On a good day, I am 6 foot 8 (207cm), but often 6 foot 7 around bed time (gravity is a drag!).

Whoa, that’s tall. But what does any of this have to do with Parkinson’s?

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