Parkinson’s Disease Patients Tend to be More Suicidal Than Others

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Parkinson's disease patients
Image by Sinisa Maric from Pixabay

A new study has revealed the high risk of suicidal thoughts among Parkinson’s disease patients as compared to other people. It is worrisome because these patients are never evaluated for their mental health so estimating the suicidal risk might save them from committing suicide later. The complete study findings are published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Dr. Ying-Yeh Chen, working at Taipei City Hospital (Taiwan) along with his colleagues extracted data to find out this link between suicidal risk and Parkinson’s disease. The data used in this analysis were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance as well as Taiwan Death Registry (from 2002 to 2016). A total number of 35,891 Parkinson’s disease patients were compared with 143,557 control individuals.

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Their results confirmed that 151 Parkinson’s disease patients committed suicide, marking the incidence to be, 66.6 per 100,000. On the other side, 300 people from the control groups also committed suicide, which makes the cumulative incidence to be 32.3 per 100,000.

Equalizing certain underlying factors such as socioeconomic influence, medical issues, and others in all subjects still showed the same results. This association was even showing up after the mental disorders were adjusted too. All these people who committed suicide, the Parkinson’s disease patients among them were younger in age, more inclined to urbanization, and preferred ‘jumping’ to committed suicide.

Parkinson’s disease is a lethal medical condition which progresses with time. It is basically a neurological condition but its earliest signs show up by limited or seized body movement.

Dopamine controls all the muscle movements of your body which is released from a specific brain part called “substantia nigra.” In a Parkinson’s disease patient, this region is impaired and the cells eventually die. It means that the dopamine production is disturbed, there is no dopamine available to control body movement, which is why the irregular or limited body movements start to show up as the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease.

You will be surprised to know that Parkinson’s disease has no treatment. It is a chronic disease that only gets worse with time. That’s why Parkinson’s disease patients are most likely to develop stress-related disorders, insomnia, and anxiety.

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On the other side, thousands of Parkinson’s cases are misdiagnosed which causes extreme trauma, financial, and resource loss. In addition to that, some Parkinson’s patients never receive a diagnosis until it is too late and they have no option left.

By the time these patients experience anosmia, gastric distress, changed posture, changes in their handwriting, and voice changes too. The motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease may include trembling, slow movement, balance-related problems, stiffness, and numbness in limbs.

In extreme cases, they may lose their facial expressions, inability to walk, voice loss, inability to swallow, and others

This study highlights the importance of mental health in all primary care plans and particularly for Parkinson’s disease patients. even with controlled socioeconomic factors, this association shows that mental health should be evaluated during every primary treatment especially among people who are diagnosed with dementia, or Parkinson’s disease.

 

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