Loneliness may increase severity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms

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Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 26 November 2020

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Researchers in the US have found that people with Parkinson’s disease who experience loneliness may be at an increased risk for severe symptoms related to the condition.

As part of the study – published in the medical journal NPJ Parkinson’s Disease – researchers collected information from 1,500 people with the condition between 2014 to 2019. Those who reported being very lonely were also less likely to exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet – and more likely to experience a lower quality of life.

Dr Indu Subramanian, neurologist and author of the study, said that the team were “surprised” by some of the results and that “one of the most detrimental things is actually being lonely”. The negative impact of loneliness on the severity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, she added, was as large as the positive impact of exercise.

In light of Covid-19 and the resulting social isolation, the research team sent out a new survey to find out how the pandemic has affected symptoms of people living with Parkinson’s disease.


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