Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anxious and pessimistic personalities linked to Parkinson’s disease later in life

14.04.2005


Mayo Clinic researchers have found that people who score in the upper 25 percent in anxiety level on a personality test have a moderately increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease decades later. They also found a similar link between pessimistic personalities and Parkinson’s.

"This is the first study that took a group of people with documented personality characteristics but no symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and showed that those with high levels of an anxious or pessimistic personality are at higher risk for developing Parkinson’s disease up to several decades later," says James Bower, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and the study’s lead investigator.

Although the study demonstrates an association between anxious and pessimistic personality types and Parkinson’s, the findings do not provide the exact reason for these links; this will be the subject of further study by the investigators. "What we have shown in this study is that there’s a link between an anxious or pessimistic personality and the future development of Parkinson’s," says Dr. Bower. "What we didn’t find is the explanation for that link. It remains unclear whether anxiety and pessimism are risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, or linked to Parkinson’s disease via common risk factors or a common genetic predisposition."



Though the findings demonstrated a higher degree of risk for Parkinson’s later in life for those with anxious and pessimistic personality types, the investigators did not find a huge increase in risk. "We found a significant and definite link between anxious and pessimistic personalities and the future development of Parkinson’s disease," says Dr. Bower. "But, the increased risk was relatively small. Just to give you an idea of numbers, if you take 1,000 40-year-olds, about 17 of them will eventually develop Parkinson’s disease. If you take 1,000 anxious 40-year-olds, about 27 of them will develop Parkinson’s disease."

Dr. Bower explains that the study subjects found to be at risk have anxieties that go beyond common worries about their children’s safety or their aging parents’ failing health. "I think it’s important to understand that what our study looked at is people with anxious personalities," says Dr. Bower. "These are the chronic worriers -- the people who worry about things that most people don’t seem to worry about. Those are the people we’re saying have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. We did not look at people who are undergoing some acute, stressful life event or people who have very stressful jobs."

They also found that many subjects who later developed parkinsonism were both anxious and pessimistic at the time of personality testing many years before. This observation suggests that pessimism is linked to anxiety, according to Walter Rocca, M.D., Mayo Clinic epidemiologist and another study investigator.

Dr. Bower explains that this study’s findings are not proof that anxiety or pessimism causes Parkinson’s. Therefore, risk for Parkinson’s should not play a leading role in determining whether to seek medical help, he says. "I think the important thing to remember is that if you are questioning whether you should seek treatment for anxiety, the decision should be made based on your level of anxiety and how it’s impacting your life, and not so much on any potential future risk of Parkinson’s disease," says Dr. Bower.

This study does not address whether treatment of anxiety or pessimism can help reduce the risk for Parkinson’s disease; however, Dr. Bower indicates that this is an important question he and colleagues hope to address in the future.

Dr. Bower and colleagues conducted this study to determine what types of personality or cognitive style -- one’s habitual way of perceiving, remembering, behaving and experiencing emotions -- are associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease later in life. Previous work done at Mayo Clinic and at other medical centers had given Dr. Bower’s team hints that there might be psychiatric conditions or personality types that might put some people at increased risk for Parkinson’s disease.

From an initial group of 7,216 people who took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) between 1962 and 1965, the investigators were able to find information on 4,741 of them; 128 had developed Parkinson’s disease. The researchers then looked at the MMPI scales for the categories of depression, anxiety, social introversion and pessimism. They found that those who had scored in the top 25 percent in the anxiety and pessimism scales were more likely to have developed Parkinson’s disease than those in the bottom 75 percent.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that affects nerve cells (neurons) in the part of the brain controlling muscle movement. People with Parkinson’s often experience trembling, muscle rigidity, difficulty walking, and problems with balance and coordination. These symptoms generally develop after age 50, although the disease affects a small percentage of younger people as well.

Lisa Lucier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayoclinic.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>