Depression Takes Huge Toll On Parkinson’s Patients.

USA Today (11/28, Lloyd) reports, “Depression takes a bigger toll on Parkinson’s patients than the physical problems linked to the neurological disease and often goes undiagnosed.” according to findings released yesterday from the Parkinson’s Outcome Project by the National Parkinson Foundation. “The project involves 20 research centers and 5,557 patients.” Notably, “among the 61% who reported depression in the survey, 1,192 (21%) had minor symptoms, 1,248 (22%) had mild depression, and 1,021 (18%) reported severe, major depressive disorders.”

HealthDay (11/29, Preidt) reports, “The early findings…suggest that the impact of depression on the health status of Parkinson’s patients is almost twice that of the movement problems associated with the disease.” Investigators “also noted that depression can be difficult to diagnose in Parkinson’s patients because many common disease symptoms, such as fatigue and masked facial expressions, may hide mood changes. Studies show that it is common for depression to be undiagnosed or under-treated in Parkinson’s patients.”

WebMD (11/28, Doheny) reports, “Doctors should screen people with Parkinson’s for depression at least once a year, the foundation says. Patients are encouraged to report mood changes to their doctors. Family members are also encouraged to accompany them to doctor’s visits and to discuss any changes in patients’ mood.” Researchers point out that the decline in dopamine is most likely the reason for the depression in Parkinson’s patients.

Related Links:

— “Depression is biggest hurdle for Parkinson’s patients, “Janice Lloyd, USA Today, November 28, 2012.

Posted in In The News.