Social Phobia is recurrent in people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This is according to a recent study conducted at Erenkoy Research and Training Hospital for Neurologic and Psychiatric Disorders in Istanbul, Turkey. The study involved 80 patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease admitted to the Parkinson’s disease and Movement disorders Clinic. The result was that among the 80 patients 42.5% were diagnosed with social anxiety, of which 20 of the patients had depression, 18 had generalized anxiety disorder, and 6 patients had a panic disorder. A logistic regression analysis was also done and revealed that social phobia is more frequent in males with high Levodopa daily dosage, early-onset PD and the presence of postural instability.
Social Anxiety is more common in women who are twice as likely to suffer from social phobia and panic disorder compared with men, this is according to Harvard Health Publication. Men, however, are more prone to Parkinson’s disease than women, this was supported in American Journal of Epidemiology. Which is why it is baffling to know that social anxiety is more prevalent to male patients with Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, I have found out that there is a current issue of whether antiparkinsonian medications might be the one reason for some of the anxiety manifestation present in Parkinson’s disease patients. But of course these issues with antiparkinsonian medications have yet to be proven.
At the moment there is no present cure for Parkinson’s disease. Treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms and be able to maintain the quality of life with PD patients. The treatments include Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, medication and surgery. However, the researchers think that these current studies linking social anxiety with Parkinson’s disease may provide an edge for early detection and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and improving the quality of life of the patients.