Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Patients With Parkinson’s May Be at High Risk of Suicidal Thinking, Behavior

Patients With Parkinson’s May Be at High Risk of Suicidal Thinking, Behavior

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may be at significantly higher risk for suicidal thinking and behavior than people without the disease, according to a meta-analysis published this week in JAMA Neurology.

“Patients with [Parkinson’s disease] possess multiple risk factors for suicidality, such as advanced age, living with a chronic condition, as well as limitations in physical mobility and functional ability,” wrote Aaron Shengting Mai, M.S., of the National University of Singapore; Yinxia Chao, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore; and colleagues. Efforts at early detection and management of suicidality in patients with Parkinson’s can help to reduce patients’ risk of death and improve their quality of life, they continued.

The researchers analyzed data from 28 studies comprising 505,950 patients with Parkinson’s to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation and behavior in this population. The researchers also compared the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior between patients with Parkinson’s and those without the disease. Of the 28 studies, 15 studies were cross-sectional studies, eight were retrospective cohort studies, and three were case-control studies. 

The meta-analysis revealed that 22.2% and 1.25% of people with Parkinson’s disease experienced suicidal ideation and behavior, respectively. Compared with people without the disease, those with Parkinson’s disease were twice as likely to have engaged in suicidal behavior.

“Patients with [Parkinson’s disease] often experience great psychiatric comorbidity, of which the most prominent is depression,” the researchers wrote. “Depressive mood disorders are the greatest risk factors for both suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior and are present in almost half of patients with [Parkinson’s disease].”

People with Parkinson’s disease often face other hurdles as well, including sleep disorders and feelings of hopelessness. “Efforts directed at identifying and addressing these risk factors, such as improving the quality and quantity of sleep through medications, could be helpful for these patients,” they added.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Phone CBT Effective for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease.”

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