Does Depression Increase the Risk of Parkinson's Disease?

Does Depression Increase the Risk of Parkinson's Disease?
Does Depression Increase the Risk of Parkinson's Disease?

Results from a large study show that people with depression may be more likely to develop Parkinson's disease. Findings from the study are published online in Neurology.  

Researchers from the Umea University in Umea, Sweden, evaluated all Swedish citizens aged ≥50 years old at the end of 2005. Of that sample population, they matched people who were diagnosed with depression from 1987–2012 (n=140,688) and with 3 control participants of the same sex and birth year who were not diagnosed with depression (n=421,718). 

During the 26-year follow-up period, 1.1% of people with depression developed Parkinson's disease (n=1,485) vs. 0.4% of people without depression (n=1,775). Parkinson's disease was diagnosed about 4.5 years after study initiation. Those with depression were 3.2 times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease within a year after the start of the study than those who were not diagnosed with depression. This likelihood jumped to about 50% 15 to 25 years after start of the study. 

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Researchers found that people with more serious forms of depression were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease. Specifically, people who were hospitalized for depression ≥5 times were 40% more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those were hospitalized only 1 time. In addition, patients who were hospitalized for depression were 3.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease compared to those who were treated as outpatients. 

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