Depression has a life time prevalence of around 10 percent, meaning that one in ten people will experience depression in some capacity during their life. Up to 50 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease could also be suffering with symptoms of depression.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative, chronic brain disease in which there is marked cell death in the area of the brain that control movement. The condition is marked by a deficiency of the brain chemical dopamine, which causes movement problems. Dopamine has also been implicated in the etiology and treatment of depression. Evidence from clinical investigations have found that people with depression have a reduced capacity to make dopamine which has been reported to cause symptoms of depression including changes in mood, ruminative thought processes, behaviour changes and generally a worsened physical well-being.
A study published in the Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, has completed a quantitative analysis of the effect an 8-week course in Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy on patients also suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
It was reported that the people who took part in the mindfulness training found their mood significantly improved and they reported having greater control over their symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.