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Depression in Parkinson’s disease: Health risks, etiology, and treatment options

Authors Frisina PG, Borod JC, Foldi NS, Tenenbaum HR

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 81—91


Pasquale G Frisina1,2, Joan C Borod3,4, Nancy S Foldi3,5, Harriet R Tenenbaum6

1Leir Parkinson’s Disease Program, The Jewish Home and Hospital Lifecare System, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 3Department of Psychology, Queens College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), Flushing, NY, USA; 4Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 5Department of Medicine, Winthrop-University Hospital, State University of New York, Stony Brook School of Medicine; 6Department of Psychology, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK

Abstract: Depression is found in about 30%–40% of all patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but only a small percentage (about 20%) receive treatment. As a consequence, many PD patients suffer with reduced health-related quality of life. To address quality of life in depressed PD patients, we reviewed the literature on the health correlates of depression in PD (eg, cognitive function), etiology of depression in PD, and treatment options (ie, antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychotherapy). The current review is unique in its focus on psychosocial aspects, as well as neuropathological factors, of depression in PD. Overall, we conclude that neurochemical (eg, serotonin) and psychosocial factors (eg, coping style, self-esteem, and social support) contribute to the affective disturbances found in this neuropsychiatric population. Therefore, we recommend that a multidisciplinary (eg, pharmacotherapeutic, psychoeducational, and/or psychotherapeutic) approach to treatment be taken with depressed PD patients.

Keywords: depression, Parkinson’s disease, health outcomes, treatment options

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