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."
Lisa Lucier | EurekAlert!
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