Higher incidence of depression preceding the onset of Parkinson's disease: A register study

Authors

  • Albert F.G. Leentjens MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Maastricht University Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2. Institute for Brain and Behaviour, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    • Department of Psychiatry, Maastricht University Hospital, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Marjan Van den Akker MA, PhD,

    1. Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Job F.M. Metsemakers MD, PhD,

    1. Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Richel Lousberg MA, PhD,

    1. Institute for Brain and Behaviour, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Frans R.J. Verhey MD, PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Maastricht University Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2. Institute for Brain and Behaviour, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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    • Dr. Verhey is a professor of Neuropsychiatry and Old Age Psychiatry.


Abstract

Although case histories of depression preceding Parkinson's disease (PD) point to a possible pathophysiological relationship between these two disorders, there is as yet no epidemiological evidence to support this view. We compared the incidence of depression in patients later diagnosed with PD with that of a matched control population. Using data from an ongoing general practice-based register study, the lifetime incidence of depressive disorder was calculated for patients until their diagnosis of PD and compared with that of a matched control population from the same register. At the time of analysis, the register held information on 105,416 people. At the time of their diagnosis of PD, 9.2% of the patients had a history of depression, compared with 4.0% of the control population (χ2 = 22.388, df = 1, P < 0.001). The odds ratio for a history of depression for these patients was 2.4 (95% CI: 2.1–2.7). We concluded that the higher incidence of depression in patients who were later diagnosed with PD supports the hypothesis of there being a biological risk factor for depression in these patients. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society

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