Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Depression also a problem in patients with Parkinson’s

29.09.2004


While Parkinson’s disease typically brings to mind symptoms such as tremors and slow movement, researchers have found that nearly half of all Parkinson’s patients also suffer from depression. While it might seem natural that someone who has a disease such as Parkinson’s might become depressed, it’s not so simple, says neurologist Irene Richard, M.D., of the University of Rochester Medical Center.



"Many patients assume that’s it’s normal to feel this way. They might say, ’If you had Parkinson’s disease, you’d feel this way too.’ That’s not true. If you treat the depression, they’ll still have the other symptoms of the disease, but they feel better. It’s one aspect of the disease that may be very treatable," says Richard. "People diagnosed with other serious diseases that may also be disabling, such as rheumatoid arthritis, aren’t nearly as likely to become depressed."

Richard and co-author William McDonald, M.D., a psychiatrist at Emory University, discussed the links between depression and movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease in a review article in the August 24 issue of the journal Neurology. In an article titled, "Can ’blue’ genes affect mood and movement?" the two noted that a team from Columbia University has linked a gene known to cause a movement disorder known as dystonia with a type of early-onset depression. Now they and other physicians around the country are exploring possible links between mood and movement in other disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.


Of Parkinson’s patients who become depressed, about half have "major" depression that has a significant impact on their lives, while others have milder forms of depression that are still distressing. "There’s a huge amount of suffering out there due to the depression that comes so frequently as part of Parkinson’s disease," says Richard, who is an expert on the psychiatric aspects of the disease. Patients who have lost the pleasure they once took in activities or hobbies, or who are having difficulty sleeping or have a poor appetite, have common symptoms of depression.

"The depression is part of the illness, not simply a reaction to the disease. We’ve found that if a physician brings up the topic, patients will be honest and will discuss their depression, but oftentimes they won’t bring it up themselves. But depression is the number-one factor responsible for poor quality of life among these patients. We need to educate physicians to ask about this in their patients with Parkinson’s disease," says Richard, an associate professor of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Doctors estimate that about 1 million people in North America have Parkinson’s disease, which targets a small group of cells in a part of the brain known as the substantia nigra that produce a chemical called dopamine. The loss of these brain cells results in abnormal signals to other parts of the brain, which Richard says appears to influence a person’s mood. In addition, the disease also affects cells that produce brain chemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which can play a role in depression.

Richard and McDonald are leading a national research study to test the effectiveness of anti-depressants in treating some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The study will evaluate common anti-depressant medications paroxetine (brand name Paxil) and venlafaxine (brand name Effexor) at treating the depression that patients experience. Richard says that until now, there hasn’t been a large placebo-controlled study to see how well anti-depressant medications actually work in patients with Parkinson’s. The disease wreaks havoc in the brain and may cause such medications to work differently than they do in healthy people.

The study will include 228 patients at 15 sites around the nation. The four-year, $4 million study is being funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Tom Rickey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rochester.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>