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Dr. Okun

New Study: Suicide and PD

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Dear forum members,


There is a new study out looking at suicide in PD. It has long been suspected by many authors it is actually slightly lower than in the general population. There is also debate as to whether it is higher in those receiving DBS. It is important to keep these numbers in mind and remember---PD patients commonly report having thought about suicide. Further, depression is treatable!!


Here is the abstract:


J Neurol Sci. 2009 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Suicide and suicidal ideation in Parkinson's disease.


Kostić VS, Pekmezović T, Tomić A, Ječmenica-Lukić M, Stojković T, Spica V, Svetel M, Stefanova E, Petrović I, Džoljić E.

Institute of Neurology CCS, School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia.

Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of suicidal behavior in Parkinson's disease (PD). In the first part of the study, we followed a cohort of 102 consecutive PD patients for 8years and found that the suicide-specific mortality was 5.3 (95% CI 2.1-12.7) times higher than expected. In the second part, we tested 128 PD patients for death and suicidal ideation and administered an extensive neurological, neuropsychological and psychiatric battery. Current death and/or suicidal ideation was registered in 22.7%. On univariate logistic regression analysis, psychiatric symptoms (depression, but also anxiety and hopelessness), but not the PD-related variables, were associated with such ideation. On multivariate logistic regression analysis this association held for major depression (odds ratio=4.6; 95% CI 2.2-9.4; p<0.001), psychosis (odds ratio=19.2; 95% CI 1.4-27.3; p=0.026), and increasing score of the Beck Hopelessness Scale (odds ratio=1.2; 95% CI 1.0-1.4; p=0.008). In conclusion, the suicide risk in PD may not be as high as it is expected, but it is certainly not trivial. According to our data almost a quarter of PD patients had death and/or suicidal ideation, that may significantly influence their quality of life.

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