Elisabeth Manville
Apr 11, 2012

Newer antidepressants decrease depression in patients with Parkinson’s without worsening motor function

A study of patients with Parkinson’s disease has demonstrated that newer antidepressants are effective in relieving symptoms of depression without worsening motor problems. In addition to physical impairments, Parkinson’s can also cause psychological symptoms and almost half of patients suffer from depression. While newer antidepressants have fewer side effects than their predecessors, researchers were still unsure how they would affect people with Parkinson’s. The new study found that Parkinson’s patients given the drugs paroxetine, in the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) class, and venlafaxine extended release, in the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) class had improved scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. They improved significantly more than patients given a placebo and the drugs were generally well-tolerated and did not worsen motor function.