Parkinson's raises risk of depression in relatives

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Washington, Dec 15 (UNI) First-degree relatives, parents, siblings and children of people with Parkinson's disease are about 50 per cent more likely than relatives of healthy people to suffer from depression or anxiety, according to a new study.

The fact that relatives of people with Parkinson's have a higher risk of neurological disorders is well known, but their risk for psychiatric disorders has been unclear till now, The New York Times reported.

Researchers studied 1,000 first-degree relatives of 162 people with Parkinson's and 850 first-degree relatives of 147 healthy people.

The team found a 45 per cent increased risk for depressive disorders and a 55 per cent increased risk for anxiety disorders among the Parkinson's relatives.

''This increased risk of depression and anxiety is important,'' said Dr Walter A Rocca, the senior author and a professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic, adding ''but these are common conditions. The absolute risk for depression goes up from about 17 per cent for the general population to about 27 per cent for someone with a family member who has Parkinson's.'' The study, published in the December issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, also found that the earlier the onset of Parkinson's, the more likely a relative was to suffer depression.


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