Having depression may increase your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by up to three times, according to a new study.

Depression is known to raise the risk of a host of diseases including cancer and stroke, but although it is known to be more common among Parkinson’s patients than the general population, it remains unclear whether it is a cause or a symptom.

Researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan examined the medical records of 4,634 people who suffered from clinically diagnosed depression, and 18,544 who did not, over a ten-year period.
They found that 66 people with depression, or 1.42 per cent, went on to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s during the next decade compared with 97 of those without depression, or 0.52 per cent.

After other factors such as age were taken into account, patients with depression were found to be 3.24 times more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s than those without.

Even when researchers excluded the records of patients who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly after their depression diagnosis, the link was still apparent suggesting that depression raises the risk of Parkinson’s over the long term.



doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a956ad