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 Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>