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 How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

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: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>