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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Dec 14, 2021

People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may experience mental health problems, such as depression, apathy, and anxiety more frequently than the general population. Psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations, may occur as part of the disease or from medications used to treat it. Fortunately, these conditions are treatable if recognized. Unfortunately, clinicians may not screen for them, and therefore, the problems may be missed. In addition, people with PD may come to their clinic visits with a list of physical problems, so they may not make mental health a priority.


In this episode, geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Mary Hart Bryan of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, explains some of the mental health conditions that people with PD may experience, and she emphasizes the importance of recognizing these conditions and seeing the proper health care professional for treating them, using psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or combinations of these approaches. She shares how care partners, too, often have mental health needs that should be recognized and addressed.