A comprehensive study conducted on 560,000 people points to depression being an early symptom for a number of neurological conditions
According to an article published online by Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people that suffer from depression or who show symptoms linked with depression, are at a significantly higher risk to develop Parkinson’s at a later date.
560,000 people were studied over a period of 26 years and it was concluded that people that have depression are 3 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s than people that are not depressed. This study has been such a strong supporter of the link between Parkinson’s and depression that it is now accurate to term depression as one of the earliest warning signs of not only Parkinson’s but even other neurological conditions.
Providing the opinion of a person not involved with the study, Carol Schramke, clinical psychologist at Allegheny General Hospital says that research that has been conducted by Neurology ‘underscores previously known links between psychiatric and neurological disorders.’ This means that depression, especially if the onset is later in life, can point to a separate neurological condition. If a person have depression they could have neurological conditions later on such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy.
Robin Williams was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s and a year ago committed suicide after losing a lifelong battle with depression. The findings have also found that the more severe a person’s depression, the higher the risk to develop Parkinson’s – a neurological condition that causes tremors, rigid muscles, slurred speech and slow movement.
Although by no means a groundbreaking discovery, since it was also previously thought that this link between psychological and neurological conditions existed. It is significant in the way so many people were studied over such a long time to provide a major supporting argument for the purveyors of this theory.
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