What is Parkinson’s and Why Can it Cause Depression?

May 21, 2019

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that impacts the way one moves. People with the disease have trouble moving. Some parts of the body may shake, feel stiff, and they may move slower than the usual.

The exact cause of the disease is still unknown but several factors may play a role in its development. These include genes and environmental triggers (e.g. exposure to certain toxins or chemicals).

Depression and Parkinson’s Disease

Aside from the physical symptoms, people with Parkinson’s disease may also suffer from depression.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder caused by an imbalance of certain brain chemicals. Unlike the occasional feeling of sadness, depression can affect your appetite, sleep, self-perception, and even relationships. About 50 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease suffer from depression.

The link between depression and Parkinson’s disease has something to do with the brain chemistry. In Parkinson’s disease patients, there’s a substantial dopamine loss in the motor areas like the substantia nigra. This causes problems with the body’s motor functions. However, scientists have also discovered that patients with Parkinson’s disease may also have reduced levels of serotonin. This explains problems in mood, sleep, and energy levels.

How is it managed?

Depression in Parkinson’s disease are often managed through antidepressants, counseling, and exercise.

Not everyone has successful experiences with the medications. If this is you, then you may want to try other alternatives like TMS.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive, FDA-approved procedure that is shown to be effective in patients with Parkinson’s disease and depression. If you want to know more, you can request for a free consultation by filling out this form or calling (520) 338-2557