Treating Depression and Anxiety in Parkinson’s Disease

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by Wendy Henderson |

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In this film from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Dr. Rachel Dolhun talks about depression and anxiety in Parkinson’s disease.

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Dr. Dolhun explains that patients with Parkinson’s disease can often suffer from depression or anxiety and in some cases, both conditions. She stresses how important it is for people with Parkinson’s to have their depression treated to improve their quality of life.

The same medications are used to treat depression for Parkinson’s patients as for those without the disease and the most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), typically Prozac or Paxil. This will be given in a low dose initially, with the dosage rising over a period of weeks.

Dolhun also stresses how exercise can also help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and that it’s important for Parkinson’s disease patients to be socially involved with their friends and family.

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