A new study has found that depressed people are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The information from this study has been published in the journal Neurology.
Depression has been linked to numerous conditions including stroke in middle-aged women. However, researchers from the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan believe that their research has proven that there is an independent risk of Parkinson’s disease in depressed people. They are also claiming that their research shows that depressed people are three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who are not depressed.
The results of the study showed that “over the 10-year follow-up period, 66 patients (1.42 percent) with depression were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, alongside 97 patients (0.52 percent) without depression.” The researchers also learned that senior participants suffering from drug-resistant depression were also at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s.
“The main finding is that we found depression posed a long-term risk of Parkinson’s disease. In particular, people with old age depression and difficult-to-treat depression are at higher risk of developing Parkinson’s. These results suggest that certain populations of depressed people should be alert. For example, having new onset of depression in older age is a red flag for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s,” study author Dr. Albert Yang, attending psychiatrist at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, told Medical News Today.
Depression is often treated with antidepressants like Paxil or Effexor, which are in a class of drug called SSRIs. Paxil and Effexor have been known to cause patients to suffer from violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior as well as lead to birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the pills while pregnant. The birth defects linked to Paxil use include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects. It is for this reason that many doctors are seeking alternative methods of treatment for the condition.