It is important to remember that clinical depression and anxiety are underdiagnosed in people with Parkinson's and that they are symptoms of your disease. Researchers believe that depression and anxiety in Parkinson's disease may be due to underlying changes in brain chemistry that are caused by the disease itself. In fact, depression in Parkinson's patients can start before motor symptoms even arise.
People with Parkinson’s, family members and caregivers may not always recognize the signs of depression and anxiety. In fact, health care professionals may not even ask about symptoms if their patients don't mention changes in mood.
Parkinson Canada’s Geriatric Depression Scale-15 and an answer key version for health care professionals, is a valid and reliable screening and diagnostic tool for depression in patients with Parkinson’s.
New! Electronic Medical Record Stamp for Physicians The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Stamp is a resource tool that family physicians can use in office visits with their Parkinson’s patients. The EMR stamp is a word document template with a series of prompts that the physician can pose to their patients in order to gather information. The EMR Stamp is a summary of a 15 minute family doctor office visit. The EMR Stamp benefits physicians because it provides a framework upon which they can tailor their visits, making visits more efficient by prompting the patient for Parkinson’s signs, symptoms and treatment.
Download the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) stamp for physicians now.
A Physician Guide to Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is designed to help family physicians recognize non-motor features described in Section 4 of the Canadian Guidelines on Parkinson’s Disease. These include depression, hallucinations, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and autonomic dysfunction.
The Physician Guide has a companion booklet for patients called A Guide to the Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Both guides include the internationally-validated PD NMS Questionnaire so patients can record what they are experiencing and discuss the symptoms with their doctor.
Parkinson Canada offers resources that are of interest to patients/clients and family members, including brochures, information sheets, booklets, videos and webcasts. These can be obtained from the resource section of Parkinson Canada’s website. Services such as support groups for people living with Parkinson’s are available through Parkinson Canada partners across the country. Contact the office in your area for details.