In a nutshell
This study investigated suicide (the act of causing one’s own death) rates after deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease. Researchers suggested that suicide can occur in these patients up to 3 years after DBS.
Parkinson's disease (PD) affects certain brain cells. These cells are responsible for body functions, such as muscle function and balance. When these cells are affected, patients will show symptoms such as tremors and muscle rigidity. DBS involves the delivery of electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain. This treatment has shown to have effectiveness in treating movement symptoms in patients with PD. However, symptoms such as depression and anxiety have been reported after this surgery.
Depression and anxiety might be present in these patients because they stop medication while going through DBS. These symptoms might lead to suicide or suicide attempts. However, it is not clear how DBS is associated with suicide rates in patients with PD.
Methods & findings
This study included 534 patients with PD who received DBS. Suicide rates (attempts and complete) were evaluated over an average follow-up of 9.19 years.
Suicide was seen in 0.75% (4) of these patients, while 4.11% (22) attempted suicide. The suicide rate in the first year after surgery was higher than the expected national rate. The rate stayed the same through the second and third year. The group who committed suicide or attempted to had more mental symptoms compared to the ones who did not.
The bottom line
This study concluded that suicide might be associated with DBS up to 3 years after surgery.
The fine print
This study was based on medical records. These types of studies might have missing data that might influence the results.
Published By :
May 17, 2019
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