13th May 2009 - New research


Movement Disorders [2009] May 7 [Epub ahead of print] (Pontone GM, Williams JR, Anderson KE, Chase G, Goldstein SA, Grill S, Hirsch ES, Lehmann S, Little JT, Margolis RL, Rabins PV, Weiss HD, Marsh L.)
Complete abstract

Anxiety disorders are common in Parkinson's Disease, but are not well characterized. So this study determined the prevalence of anxiety disorders in Parkinson's Disease. Around 43% of people with Parkinson's Disease were found to currently have an anxiety disorder. Almost half of people with Parkinson's Disease were found to have had an anxiety disorder at some time. Panic disorders were more associated with an earlier age of onset of Parkinson's
Disease, and were more common in those people with greater motor fluctuations and morning dystonia.

This high prevalence of anxiety disorders suggested to the researchers that anxiety in Parkinson's Disease is both underdiagnosed and undertreated. The main biochemical fault in Parkinson's Disease is insufficient dopamine. Low dopamine does not cause anxiety itself. So anxiety is not an inevitable part of Parkinson's Disease. L-dopa can end up as noradrenaline, which causes anxiety. So the high prevalence of anxiety in Parkinson's Disease may be largely due to the side effects of certain Parkinson's Disease drugs. For more current news go to Parkinson's Disease News.


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