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Medical News & Perspectives
September 22/29, 1999

Keeping Depression at Bay Helps Patients With Parkinson Disease

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JAMA. 1999;282(12):1118-1119. doi:10.1001/jama.282.12.1118-JMN0922-2-1

Vancouver, BC—The first major international study to assess factors that influence quality of life in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) has found that the most powerful impact comes from depression rather than from the severity of the disorder or adverse effects of medication.

"The key finding of the Global Parkinson Disease Survey (GPDS) is that depression has an overwhelming impact on quality of life, as measured by Beck's Depression Inventory [BDI]," said Tobias E. Eichhorn, MD, of Philipps University, Marburg, Germany, who analyzed the clinical implications of the study results. "It is the first step that will form the basis of intervention studies to determine how to treat different degrees of depression in these patients." Later he added that, since there have been no trials specifically involving antidepressant treatment of patients with PD, various classes of drugs should be studied to determine which will be of most benefit.

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