In James Parkinson's original monograph, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy, little mention was made of the nonmotor symptoms of anxiety and depression (14). However, it is now known that clinically significant anxiety symptoms occur in 20% to 52% of PD patients, a frequency greater than that found in community dwelling age-matched controls (1,15-17). Menza et al. (18) reported a depressive disorder in 92% of PD patients diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and an anxiety disorder was present in 67% of depressed PD patients. This is consistent with results by Starkstein et al. (16), reporting depression in 76% of patients with PD and anxiety.
In addition to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), patients with PD regardless of sex also experience panic disorders and social phobias with a prevalence of approximately 30%. (17,19,20). The presence of anxiety not only contributes to mental and somatic discomfort, but may also contribute to existing motor symptoms or fluctuations (7). For example, patients will report that episodic states of anxiety will aggravate preexisting tremor or dyskinesia, and fear of falling has been associated with impaired postural stability (21). Additionally, an "internal tremor" is frequently associated with anxiety (22). Consequently, in patients with high levels of anxiety or significant episodic anxiety, the initiation of appropriate anxiolytic therapy may improve motor symptoms as well as mental and psychosocial functioning.
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With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.