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Parkinson’s disease symptoms: The mood disorder that could signal a potential early sign

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that causes the brain to become progressively damaged over time. And a person could be at risk of the neurodegenerative condition if they experience any of the following two mood disorders.


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If a person feels anxiety or depression which is above and beyond the normal ups and downs it could be an early warning.

These feelings are evident in those suffering with Parkinson’s because of the changes in the balance of chemical activity in the brain. These changes can start up to twenty years before a person is diagnosed with the condition.

By treating depression, a significant decrease in the disability occurs and an improvement in one’s quality of life.

Parkinson’s Foundation said: “Research suggests that depression and anxiety are common in Parkinson’s disease.

“It is estimated that at least 50 percent of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease will experience some form of depression during their illness, and up to 40 percent will experience an anxiety disorder.

“Parkinson’s disease causes changes in areas of the brain that produce dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin – chemicals that are involved in regulating mood, energy, motivation, appetite and sleep.

“It’s important to know that depression can intensify both the motor and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s.”

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It may be that anxiety disorders that are diagnosed as much as two decades before Parkinson’s disease may be a harbinger of the disease, says Dr Gregory Pontone, director of the John Hopkins Movement Disorders Psychiatry Clinic.

He continued: “Parkinson’s disease, like Alzheimer’s disease, has what experts call a long approach and anxiety may be part of that long approach.

“One theory is that the anxiety that comes before Parkinson’s results from the same underlying changes in brain chemistry and circuity.

“Others believe that Parkinson’s disease and anxiety share a common genetic risk factor.


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“Either way, taking a closer look at the link can help doctors understand the causes of Parkinson’s and treat patients with the disease.

“Ongoing research on Parkinson’s and anxiety is compelling.

“Part of what we are doing is looking at anxiety disorders that occur long before the onset of Parkinson’s to see if there are characteristics that may differentiate that anxiety or predict an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.”

Parkinson’s disease patients and their families should be upfront with their doctors about anxiety symptoms.

Behavioral therapy and medications which include anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants can effectively help treat anxiety symptoms.

There is no need for anyone to suffer in silence.

If you have been experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression, speak with your GP about the possible cause and solution. 

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