Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is Parkinson’s A Mental Illness

Common Symptoms Of Drug

Mental Health and Parkinson’s Disease

The motor features of PD are often very easy to see via a neurologic exam in a doctors office. Rest tremor for example, is seen in virtually no other illness and can therefore be very important in diagnosing PD. But there is one other common condition that induces the symptoms of PD, including a rest tremor, which must be considered every time PD is being considered as a diagnosis, and that is drug-induced parkinsonism.

Parkinsonism is not technically a diagnosis, but rather a set of symptoms including slowness, stiffness, rest tremor, and problems with walking and balance. This set of symptoms can be caused by PD, but also can occur as a side effect of certain prescription medications .

A number of medications can cause parkinsonism because they block the dopamine receptor and thereby mimic the symptoms of PD that are caused by loss of dopamine neurons in the brain. Reviewing a patients medications is therefore a critical step for a neurologist when seeing someone with parkinsonism. Anti-psychotics and anti-nausea treatments make up the bulk of the problematic medications, although there are other medications that can also cause parkinsonism. The primary treatment for this type of parkinsonism is weaning off of the offending medication, if possible.

Is Parkinsons A Mental Or Physical Disability

Is Parkinsons a Disability? Parkinsons Disease is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration According to the SSAs Blue Book, which is the list of conditions that can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Parkinsons Disease is located in section 11.06 of the SSAs Blue Book.

The Basics Of Brain Function

Before thinking about the problems that occur in the brain when someone has amental illness, it is helpful to think about how the brain functions normally.The brain is an incredibly complex organ. It makes up only 2 percent of our bodyweight, but it consumes 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe and 20 percent ofthe energy we take in. It controls virtually everything we as humans experience,including movement, sensing our environment, regulating our involuntary bodyprocesses such as breathing, and controlling our emotions. Hundreds of thousandsof chemical reactions occur every second in the brain those reactions underliethe thoughts, actions, and behaviors with which we respond to environmentalstimuli. In short, the brain dictates the internal processes and behaviors thatallow us to survive.

Scientists use a variety of imaging techniques to investigate brain structureand function.

Scientists believe that mental illnesses result from problems with thecommunication system in the brain.

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Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually develop gradually and are mild at first.

There are many different symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Some of the more common symptoms are described below.

However, the order in which these develop and their severity is different for each individual. It’s unlikely that a person with Parkinson’s disease would experience all or most of these.

Do You Lose Your Mind With Parkinsons


Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

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Anxiety And Parkinsons Research

What does this finding mean for the future of diagnosis or treatment of Parkinsons? Ongoing research is compelling, says Pontone. Part of what we are doing is looking at anxiety disorders that occur long before the onset of Parkinsons to see if there are characteristics that may differentiate that anxiety or predict an increased risk of Parkinsons disease.

Meanwhile, because theres an established link between anxiety and Parkinsons disease, patients and their families should be upfront with their doctors about anxiety symptoms. Behavioral therapy and medications for example, anti-anxiety meds or antidepressants can effectively treat anxiety disorders. Theres no need for anyone to suffer in silence.

Targeting Parkinsons-Linked Protein Could Neutralize 2 of the Diseases Causes

Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinsons disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link.

How Do You Treat Depression In Parkinson’s Disease

Your depression can be treated with psychological therapy and medication. People seem to do better when they get both types of treatment.

There are many antidepressant medications, and each has pros and cons. Which one your doctor suggests depends on your overall condition and specific needs.

Most people should not take amoxapine because it could temporarily make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

Psychological therapy can help you rebuild your sense of self-worth. It also can help you keep up good relationships with your caregivers and family members.

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Delirium Cognitive Impairment And Dementia

PD is associated with subtle, but widespread cognitive impairment, even in the absence of clinically apparent cognitive decline or frank dementia. Anticholinergic agents can cause a worsening of cognitive deficits and can precipitate delirium, which may include a variety of psychotic symptoms.5

Early in the course of the illness or at the time of diagnosis, there are difficulties with memory retrieval, executive functioning, attention, and visuo-spatial abilitiesall of which are associated with significant functional impairment.15 More severe forms of cognitive impairment, including dementia, also occur commonly in patients with PD. The clinical feature of dementia may include cognitive decline with memory impairment, behavioural changes with aggression and/or wandering, and psychiatric symptoms, such as mood disorders.

The average prevalence of dementia in PD, which generally occurs later in the illness, is about 39.9%.16 The use of anticholinesterase drugs for the treatment of dementia in PD is somewhat limited by their efficacy and tolerability.5 In a large randomised trial, clinically meaningful improvement occurred in 5.3% more patients who received rivastigmine compared with those who received placebo.17 The most common adverse effects were nausea, vomiting, and tremors. In addition, a smaller study with memantine found that this drug produced a small beneficial effect over placebo and was well tolerated.18

Working On Mental Strength

Mental Health for Parkinson’s Care Partners

Wanting to pick himself up after going through a difficult break-up at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown is the reason Reece first started running. He began by running five miles, then gradually increased his mileage each week, until, after completing his first 14-mile run, he realised doubling that would be a marathon.

I googled how many people run the London Marathon each year and the answer is around 40,000, so I thought, Well, surely its not that hard, he laughs. Two weeks later, he ran his first marathon.

Looking back now, it sounds crazy to jump from one distance to another so quickly, but thats the mood I was in. When youre feeling low, you make decisions you wouldnt usually make.

Mental strength has always been what Reece could turn to in the face of adversity, he says, and he drew inspiration from ultrarunners such as David Goggins and Chadd Wright online.

had been through some sort of pain in their life and I related to that, and pushing my body to the extremes of feeling tired. It was a way of dealing with the mental health side of things.

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Drug Reactions: Psychosis And Impulse Control Disorders

PD pharmacologic treatment emphasises dopamine replacement, dopamine receptor stimulation, or prevention of enzymatic breakdown of dopamine in the synaptic cleft.3 While these drugs have their effects on a variety of CNS neurotransmitter systems, they primarily affect dopamine transmission. Thus, it is not surprising that they often produce dramatic behavioural changes that cause significant difficulties for patients and their families and carers.5 There are convincing data that suggest that treatment with dopaminergic agents may be associated with the development of a variety of impulse control disorders in some patients.5 Impulse control disorders, including severe gambling and hyper-sexuality as well as shopping and binge eating, can be extremely disruptive to patients and families.

As with psychosis, impulse control disorders are more commonly associated with the dopamine agonists, pramipexole and ropinirole.11 Given the impact of impulse control disorders, clinicians need to educate patients and monitor them for the early signs of these disturbances.5

Delusions are uncommon in the first two years of PD therapy, but may also occur and, as with hallucinations, are often preceded by vivid dreams.5 These delusions are usually persecutory in nature, including fears of being injured, influenced, poisoned, filmed, and/or tape-recorded.5

Apathy In Parkinson’s Disease

Apathy is understood as a reduced interest and participation in normal purposeful behavior, lack of initiative with problems in initiation or sustaining an activity to completion, lack of concern or indifference and a flattening of affect. Many studies have evaluated the prevalence of apathy in patients with PD using different scales and have reported a prevalence rate of 16.5-70%, depending on the assessment procedure and the study population. Evidence suggests that apathy in PD is not related to depression, anxiety, severity of motor symptoms. However, some of the recent studies suggest high level of comorbidity between apathy and depression in patients with PD. However, some studies suggest that apathy may be a side effect of DBS and other suggest that apathy in PD is determined by the level of cognitive impairment. Recent evidence suggests that in non-depressed non-demented patients, apathy may in fact be a predictor of cognitive decline and dementia in PD.

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Management Of Dual Diagnosis Of Parkinsons Disease And A Mental Health Disorder

Jasmine Carpenter, PharmD, BCPS

Adepeju Awodipe, PharmD Candidate 2015Howard University College of PharmacyWashington, DC

Washington, DC

US Pharm. 2015 40:34-38.

ABSTRACT: Mental health disorders are frequently seen in patients with Parkinsons disease , possibly as a result of the complex imbalance of neurotransmitters in both disease states. This imbalance poses various treatment challenges, such as the exacerbation of both disease states and drug interactions between the medications used to treat PD and mental health disorders. Owing to these challenges, mental health disturbances in PD patients often go untreated. By assisting with ruling out causative medications and underlying disease states, simplifying antiparkinsonian regimens, and recommending antipsychotics, the pharmacist can help ensure that both of these disease states are adequately treated.

Parkinsons disease , which impacts millions of people worldwide, is a neurodegenerative disorder involving the deterioration of motor, mental, and functional skills.1 This degenerative decline increases mortality rates and negatively affects patients quality of life. Motor movement disorders are heavily emphasized as cardinal signs of PD however, nonmotor manifestations such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis are major concerns that must be addressed in this patient population.

Exercise And Healthy Eating

Parkinson Disease Symptoms Infographic Stock Vector ...

Regular exercise is particularly important in helping relieve muscle stiffness, improving your mood, and relieving stress.

There are many activities you can do to help keep yourself fit, ranging from more active sports like tennis and cycling, to less strenuous activities such as walking, gardening and yoga.

You should also try to eat a balanced diet containing all the food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy.

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Treatment Recommendations For Dual Diagnosis

Although the treatment of PD patients with an MH comorbidity or exacerbation can be a challenge, there are recommended steps to ensure that each disease state is adequately treated.

The first step in treating PD patients with an MH condition or disturbance is to rule out underlying conditions and causative nonantiparkinsonian medications, followed by simplification of the PD medication regimen.28,29 The reduction or removal of causative antiparkinsonian medications can facilitate the treatment of psychosis, ICDs, and mania.18-22 If a loss of motor function occurs in a patient undergoing dosage or medication reduction, the addition of an antipsychotic may be considered. These steps are outlined in FIGURE 2.

Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as rivastigmine, may be considered. These agents serve as an alternative to antipsychotics in patients with mild-to-moderate psychosis.28 Rivastigmine has been found to be consistently effective for the treatment of PD psychosis.28,36,37 Trials also demonstrate that rivastigmine is more effective than donepezil.6,31

Is Parkinsons Disease Fatal Life Expectancy For Parkinsons

Worried about your Parkinson’s disease life expectancy? A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis comes with many worries and anxieties. One worry concerns the progression of the disease and whether Parkinsons disease can be fatal. The issue is rarely straightforward, but there is no reason to think your condition is a death sentence. Many people live for years or decades with their Parkinsons disease symptoms under control, while the illness progresses more quickly for others. It’s important that you know what to expect when you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and air your concerns to your doctor. For now, let’s explore the issue of life expectancy of patients with Parkinson’s disease and address some common concerns.

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Tremors Caused By Medications

In addition to drug-induced parkinsonism, which includes rest tremor and is caused by medications that block the dopamine receptor, there are also a wide variety of medications that do not block the dopamine receptor, but can cause other types of tremors, such as postural and action tremors. So if you have these types of tremors, but without the slowness, stiffness and other PD-like symptoms, you could have drug-induced tremor .

A postural tremor occurs when a body part is held against gravity. Postural tremors occur for example, when the arms are extended, such as when holding a tray. An action tremor occurs when a body part is moving. Action tremors occur for example, when the arm is moving toward the mouth to eat.

Drug-induced tremors typically are symmetric or equal on both sides of the body. The medications that can cause tremor include, but are not limited to, lithium, valproic acid, amiodarone, beta-adrenergic agonists, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . Be attentive to whether a tremor starts after any new medication is started. If it does, discuss this with your doctor.

Mental Disturbances With Parkinson’s Disease: Depression Hallucinations And Compulsive Behaviour

Parkinson’s and Mental Health during Lockdown

This section discusses depression, changes in memory and intellect, hallucinations and compulsive tendencies. These are not by any means conditions which occur only in people with Parkinsons disease but they are of interest here because they appear to be intimately tied up with the use of dopamine and dopamine agonist drugs used in Parkinsons disease and their treatment.

A very difficult symptom to unravel in this respect is depression. Some people feel sure that their depression was caused by Parkinsons disease and that the drugs used to treat the Parkinsons symptoms also helped to remove their depression. Philip was certainly surprised and pleased to find that the severe depression he had attributed to the problems he was having with a painful hip joint disappeared once he started on anti-Parkinsons medication so that he no longer needed to take an antidepressant. Elisabeth compared her depression to an iron cloak and described how it was affected by her medication: I tried to get rid of it by taking increased amounts of medication and when it worked it was as if the iron cloak just slid off my shoulders.

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How Parkinsons Disease Affects Your Mental Health

Parkinson’s disease and mental health is a complex issue. While Parkinson’s disease doesn’t exactly cause mental health issues, it can increase your likelihood of depression, anxiety and even psychosis. Sometimes, these symptoms show up long before other signs of Parkinson’s, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. What’s more, certain Parkinson’s medications can add to the emotional challenges that often come with the illness. All of this can take a toll on your Parkinson’s disease and mental health, so what’s the solution?

Regional And National Records

The researchers analyzed the medical records of 3,045 people with Parkinsons treated between 2004 and 2019 in southwestern Finland, and 22,189 patients entered in a Finnish national register between 1996 and 2015.

They compared the prevalence of preexisting diagnoses of schizophrenia among the Parkinsons patients with diagnoses among age-matched controls without Parkinsons.

Nationally, the prevalence of schizophrenia spectrum disorders among people with Parkinsons was 1.5% compared with 1.31% among the controls.

Regionally, the prevalence was 0.76% among people with Parkinsons compared with 0.16% among the controls.

Despite the apparent differences in prevalence between the national and regional data, this suggests that having a schizophrenia spectrum disorder increases a persons risk of developing Parkinsons in later life.

The researchers say the increased risk may stem from prolonged use of drugs that block dopamine receptors, known as dopamine receptor antagonists or antipsychotics.

The drugs may change the brains dopamine system in a way that increases a persons chances of developing Parkinsons disease.

Alternatively, over time, schizophrenia may directly damage the dopamine system in such a way that a person becomes more vulnerable to Parkinsons.

Further studies are needed to investigate whether the severity of psychotic symptoms or the type or dosing of antipsychotic drugs impact the risk of , say the researchers in their paper.

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Anxiety As An Early Warning Sign

It may be that anxiety disorders that are diagnosed as much as two decades before Parkinsons disease may be a harbinger of the disease, says Gregory Pontone, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Movement Disorders Psychiatry Clinic. Parkinsons disease, like Alzheimers disease, has what experts call a long approach, he says, and anxiety may be part of that long approach.

One theory is that the anxiety that comes before Parkinsons results from the same underlying changes in brain chemistry and circuitry. Others believe that Parkinsons disease and anxiety share a common genetic risk factor. Either way, taking a closer look at the link can help doctors understand the causes of Parkinsons and treat patients with the disease.

Other Factors That May Affect Your Mental Health


Other features of PD that contribute to mental health issues include sleep disorders, fatigue and apathy. To complicate matters further, in some cases, PD medications can contribute to mental health problems, for example, by contributing to psychosis or compulsivity.

Of course, each persons mental health does not exist in a PD vacuum, but rather reflects his/her baseline personality, ingrained coping mechanisms, and life circumstances both uplifting and stressful- beyond PD, including family and work.

APDA has educational supplements on depression and cognitive changes that you can access for more information on these topics.

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