Because misfortunes never come alone, a new research suggests that receiving a depression diagnose may also increase chances of developing Parkinson’s disease in years to come.
The extensive study examined approximately 140,000 people diagnosed with depression between 1987 and 2012. All participants were older than 50 by 2005, as Parkinson’s is a disease that develops later in life.
Researchers paired each depressed patient with three people of the same gender and age who did not suffer from depression, a method of establishing a control group for the study.
The follow-up period was 26 years, and results showed a difference of 0.6 between the people with depression who developed Parkinson’s disease (a total of 1 percent) and the participants free from depression who also developed the disease.
According to these results, Parkinson’s disease is not at all that common – even when people suffer from depression. Study author Peter Nordström, of Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, however, believes this link needs further research.
In the past few years, various studies added to the growing body of research that examines possible connections between Parkinson’s disease and other health problems and personality traits. A 2012 study showed a link between being cautious and reluctant of taking risks translates in a higher risk of developing the disease.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s data reports around 1 million of people suffering from Parkinson’s in the U.S. The disease is caused by losing the brain cells that are responsible with producing dopamine. Symptoms generally affect body movements; tremors and shaky hands, rigid muscles and defective balance.
The study also found a connection between the onset of Parkinson’s in people who suffer from depression – results showed it develops earlier than in people without depression. Depression seemed to increase the risks of developing the tremors by 3.2 times within a year after the study started.
Severity of depression was also an element factored in the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease. Patients who needed hospitalization for their depression turned out to be 3 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who also had depression, but not so severe they were hospitalized because of it.
Even though results show there is indeed a connection between depression and Parkinson’s disease, researchers could not put their finger on it. They can only speculate that depression alters the brain in such ways that developing Parkinson’s disease increases in likelihood.
Other suggestions said that medical treatments for depression – antidepressants or antipsychotics – might also play a role in raising a patient’s risk of developing the disease.
Image Source: imgbuddy