Does Depression Put You at High Risk for Parkinson’s Disease?

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Male DepressionIs depression a factor in developing Parkinson’s disease? According to a new study from the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, the mood disorder could play a role in the later development of the well-known nervous disorder, but they emphasise restraint when linking the two.

“Our paper does not convey the message that all depression leads to Parkinson’s disease,” said the senior author, Dr. Albert C. Yang, a professor of psychiatry at the National Yang-Ming University. “But particularly the depressed elderly and those with difficult-to-treat depression should be alert to the possibility of neurological disease and Parkinson’s.”

The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 4,634 patients with depression, as well as 18,544 matched controls for 10 years. The results found that 66 patients with depression, or 1.42 percent, developed Parkinson’s disease, compared to 97, or .52 percent, of the control group. According to their analysis, clinical depression was associated with over three times the risk for Parkinson’s.

The study was published in Neurology and reported by Nicholas Bakalar.

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