Mental health is extremely important in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although common in other chronic diseases, research suggests that depression and anxiety are even more common in PD. It is estimated that at least 50 percent of those diagnosed with PD will experience some form of depression during their illness, and up to 40 percent will experience an anxiety disorder.
In fact, new research from NPF’s 2012 Parkinson’s Outcomes Project found that taken together, mood, depression and anxiety have the greatest impact on health status, even more than the motor impairments commonly associated with the disease.
However, previous studies have also shown that treating depression is one of the most significant ways to decrease disability and improve quality of life. Fortunately, there are very effective treatments for depression. In this section we will explore depression and how it is diagnosed and treated.
NPF recommends that people with Parkinson’s disease…
- Get screened for depression at least once a year.
- Discuss changes in mood with their healthcare professional and doctor.
- Bring a family member to doctor’s appointments to discuss changes in their mood.
Page reviewed by Dr. Joash Lazarus, NPF Movement Disorders Fellow, Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine.