Parkinson’s Personality: Disease More Likely to Strike Cautious People

By Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer | LiveScience.com – Tue, May 1, 2012

Some personality traits appear to be linked with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests.

The results show patients with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to be cautious and avoid taking risks compared with people who don’t have Parkinson’s.

Moreover, the tendency to avoid taking risks appears to be a stable personality trait across a patient’s lifetime — as far back as 30 years before symptoms began, those with Parkinson’s disease said they did not often engage in risky or exhilarating activities, such as riding roller coasters or speeding, the study found.

The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting Parkinson’s is more likely to afflict people with rigid, cautious personalities.

It’s possible that what we consider to be aspects of someone’s personality may in fact be very early manifestations of Parkinson’s, said study researcher Kelly Sullivan, of the University of South Florida’s department of neurology. However, much more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis, Sullivan said.

It’s also way too soon to say that having a “look before you leap” personality puts you at risk for Parkinson’s.

“I’m not a big risk-taker, but at the same time, I haven’t resigned myself that I’m going to have Parkinson’s,” Sullivan said. (more…)

The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) invites you to the 2013 PAN Forum, February 25-27, 2013, in Washington, DC.  

You can be a part of finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

You can learn more about new research and how federal funding of biomedical research generates private-sector investment, supports local economies, and gets us closer to a cure.