Podcast Episode 118: Managing Mental Health Problems with Parkinson’s Disease

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People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may experience mental health problems, such as depression, apathy, and anxiety more frequently than the general population. Psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations, may occur as part of the disease or from medications used to treat it. Fortunately, these conditions are treatable if recognized. Unfortunately, clinicians may not screen for them, and therefore, the problems may be missed. In addition, people with PD may come to their clinic visits with a list of physical problems, so they may not make mental health a priority.

In this episode, geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Mary Hart Bryan of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, explains some of the mental health conditions that people with PD may experience, and she emphasizes the importance of recognizing these conditions and seeing the proper health care professional for treating them, using psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or combinations of these approaches. She shares how care partners, too, often have mental health needs that should be recognized and addressed.

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About This Episode

Released: December 14, 2021

Headshot of Dr. Mary Hart BryanMary Hart Bryan, MD

Mary Hart Bryan, MD is an assistant professor in geriatric psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She completed her medical degree at MUSC, psychiatry residency at UNC Chapel Hill where she also served as chief resident, and geriatric psychiatry fellowship at MUSC. She is board certified in geriatric psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Dr. Bryan is the assistant director of the geriatric psychiatry fellowship and clinical director of the geriatric psychiatry outpatient clinic. She enjoys teaching residents and training fellows in the field of geriatric psychiatry. Dr. Bryan works in long term care facilities including skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care.  She often treats patients in these settings who have movement disorders and overlying neuropsychiatric symptoms. She is part of the MUSC neurology interdisciplinary clinic which is a multidisciplinary team that evaluates patients with movement disorders. She often gives talks on mental health issues related to Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at educational events. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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