Shy people more likely to get Parkinson's, study suggests

Share this content:

New research finds that a cautious, risk-averse person may be more at risk for Parkinson's disease.

The study was actually conducted to examine the effects of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine on the condition. Researchers examined the drinking and smoking habits and consumption of caffeine of 106 people with Parkinson's and 106 unaffected people. They also looked at answers from three personality tests measuring depression, anxiety and the desire to seek sensational experiences.

They were not surprised to find the Parkinson's subjects drank less, smoked less and consumed fewer beverages with caffeine. But they were struck that people with Parkinson's scored higher on test for anxiety and depression and lower on the sensation-seeking test.

Such a finding could suggest that shyer and more cautious people are more at risk for the disease. The study appears in the February issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.