The Connection Between Depression & Parkinson’s Disease

A Swedish population study was recently published in the journal Neurology suggesting that people who experienced depression at one point in their lifetime were at greater risk for also developing Parkinson's disease.

Of the 140,688 patients in Sweden with depression over a period of 25 years, 1.1 percent developed Parkinson's -- compared to a rate of 0.4 percent risk factor in the control group. That's an increased risk factor of nearly 3 times.

If you have depression, should you be concerned?

I'd argue -- not much. Here's why.

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Psychology Around the Net: January 31, 2015

This week's Psychology Around the Net will have you rethinking how you look at depression medications, constantly seeking the approval of others, and -- oh, yeah -- whether to have a glass of wine or beer with your dinner (seriously)!

Beer Compound Could Help Fend Off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases: We've all heard about the potential health benefits of wine, but new reports show the compound from hops -- a flower of the hop plant used as a basic ingredient in brewing beer -- could help "protect brain cells from damage -- and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases."

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A Reflection on Robin Williams’ Death

I spoke with a friend several days after the shocking news that Robin Williams had committed suicide. How could this beloved actor and storied comedian, my friend wondered, not understand or care that fans around the world adored him? And why, he further inquired, wasn’t that alone reason enough to live?

Nonetheless, this person, barely able to contain his sorrow, said he thought Mr. Williams “incredibly courageous” to have carried out such a deed.

Pausing to reflect and carefully measure my words as to not offend, I told him I vehemently disagreed with his statement: Suicide was not an act of courage, I said, but rather an act of consummate desperation. 
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Why the Death of Robin Williams Is So Hard to Accept

Sadly, it's nothing new -- a celebrity either directly or indirectly ends their own life. It was Philip Seymour Hoffman, most recently; Heath Ledger, previously; and the list continues.
Now, Robin Williams is gone. Removed from the world directly by his own hand.

As much as I was moved by deaths of other celebrities who hold a place within me, there is something noticeably more difficult to accept with Robin Williams' suicide.
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Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain

I'm old enough to remember Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994, and what a major cultural and news event it was.

Although there have been other celebrity deaths in the years since, it's only now with Robin Williams that a suicide has had as much attention and social magnitude.

The differences over time are striking. Social media has changed the nature of news as well as the conversation about news, and blogs make it easy for anyone to publish online what once might have been op-eds and letters to the editor in paper newspapers and magazines. Retweets and faves on
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Depression When You Have It All

People think, if only I had success in life, I'd be the happiest person on earth. Yet, as Robin Williams' suicide so clearly demonstrates, you can have fame, fortune, a loving family and still be depressed. Though I have no knowledge of Robin Williams' inner psyche, I do know that those with wealth and status are not immune to depression. Indeed, they may even be more prone to it.

Why should this be so?

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The Most Amazing Parkinson’s Book You’ve Never Heard Of

When one of the foremost online communities for neurological and brain conditions went offline without notice back in 2006, we stepped up to the plate and created NeuroTalk, now the premier support community online for these kinds of conditions.

One of the conditions we cover at NeuroTalk is Parkinson's disease. After talking in the Parkinson's support group for a few years, a group of patients with Parkinson's decided that their stories weren't being told very well by books available at the time. And that there really wasn't a comprehensive guidebook for patients with Parkinson's, their families, and their loved ones.

So this group of e-patients decided to create their own. The amazing result is called The Peripatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease and it is now available.

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