What Causes Anxiety in Parkinson’s Disease?


Anxiety is a state of mind which can give the sufferer feelings of agitation and nervousness. Moods can often be foreboding and difficult to snap out of. People who live with Parkinson’s disease may also suffer from anxiety for several reasons.

MORE: The five stages of Parkinson’s disease

According to the National Parkinsons Foundation, chemical changes occurring in the brain due to Parkinson’s disease can trigger mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. People living with Parkinson’s often have extremely low levels of the chemical GABA, which has been linked to the onset of anxiety and depression. If this is the case, then medication can help rebalance the brain’s chemicals and reduce anxiety.

Intermittent bouts of anxiety can occur due to the effects of motor changes, which can often be extreme and result in severe anxiety attacks.

As well as biological factors, psychological factors can also play a role in the onset of anxiety for Parkinson’s disease patients. The effects of coping with a chronic disease can often have an adverse effect on a person’s mental health. In addition, patients may experience anxiety attacks when their medication has worn off and is no longer working.

MORE: How does Parkinson’s disease affect the brain?

Parkinsons’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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  1. Sue Whipps says:

    Youbsay that anxiety can fluctuate “due to the changes in motor symptoms.” Surely this is often not a cause and effect but rather fluctuations in both non motor and motor symptoms due to wearing off being synchronous?

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