Parkisons and depression

After Robin Williams was found to have early stages of Parkinson’s disease before he died, there has been more of a focus on the link between depression and Parkinson’s disease, which is crucial, a New York geriatrician says. “I think one of the problems we have in our society is we tend not to recognize readily depression,” says Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD, director of geriatric education at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “And in Parkinson’s disease patients in particular, the depression is often unrecognized. Patients and family members will focus on some of the physical signs and symptoms – the tremor, the shaking – and will not start thinking about the emotions behind the disease. It will be focusing on what is seen, not what is felt. The issue then becomes one of not recognizing or not identifying depression and therefore not treating it.”

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