Depression and Subsequent Risk of Parkinson Disease”- What Can You Learn From This?

depression2In the article, “Depression and subsequent risk of Parkinson disease,” we learn that there is a direct association between depression and subsequent Parkinson Disease (PD). (You can read the article here… )  The authors conclude, “given that the association was significant for a follow-up period of more than 2 decades, depression may be a very early prodromal symptom of PD, or a causal risk factor.”

What continues to amuse me is the focus on symptoms in medicine and the attempts to link symptoms to symptoms as a cause of our medical conditions.  Both depression and Parkinson Disease are groups of symptoms. That they share some common causes is expected when you start to understand epigenetics and how environmental toxins and nutrient deficiencies put you at greater risk for numerous conditions.

If you have the MTHFR single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), then you have huge risks for many toxin induced problems than if you are homozygous for C677T (homozygous means you got one copy of the defect from each of your parents) and less risk if you are heterozygous (meaning you got one copy from only one parent).  Heterozygous is much more common than homozygous, hence the siblings in this study for example would be at little to no risk if we were looking at the MTHFR.

Except that it’s much more complicated than that.  There are about 40 known mutations affecting the MTHFR enzyme.

My suggestion, if you suffer from depression and are worried about risks of other health conditions, is to see a physician who looks at underlying health risks.  One who doesn’t just give you an antidepressant and then when other symptoms develop, just give you a pharmaceutical to treat those symptoms and so on until you are on multiple drugs.  This is the sad state of medicine today, with few doctors looking at why you are less than well.

You can find out your own SNP’s that are important for health a number of ways.  One simple way is at and then run your results through either genetic genie or Prometheus, for example. You will likely need to find a physician who can then guide you on your journey back to wellness and help you interpret the information you get.  Consider finding a functional medicine doctor, a naturopath or someone who understand nutrition and it’s relationship to health and wellness.

Saying that “depression may be a very early prodromal symptom of PD” is like saying that driving a car is a risk factor for crashing and dying.  Yes there is a low level of underlying risk for all who drive to crash, and for all who are born to get PD, but you can greatly increase your risk of crashing by driving intoxicated just as you can greatly increase your risk of PD by eating poorly and exposing yourself to major neurotoxins.

If you struggle with depression, that’s a warning that neurotransmitters are out of balance and best you do everything you can to improve diet, add exercise, and avoid toxins among other recommendations to keep you safe when depressed.


To your health and wellness.


Dr. Paul





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