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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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)

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: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Innovative LED High Power Light Source for UV

22.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk

22.06.2017 | Business and Finance

Spin liquids − back to the roots

22.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>