Clinical correlates of depressive symptoms in familial Parkinson's disease


  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

  • Members of the Parkinson Study Group Investigators are listed as an Appendix.


Depression is one of the most common nonmotor complications of Parkinson's disease (PD) and has a major impact on quality of life. Although several clinical factors have been associated with depression in PD, the relationship between depression and stage of illness as well as between depression and degree of disability remains controversial. We have collected clinical data on 1,378 PD cases from 632 families, using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Parts II (activities of daily living) & III (motor), the Mini-Mental State Exam, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the Blessed Functional Activity Scale (Blessed). Analyses were performed using the 840 individuals with verified PD and without evidence of cognitive decline. Logistic regression was used to identify study variables that individually and collectively best predicted the presence of depressive symptoms (GDS ≥ 10). After correcting for multiple tests, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with Hoehn and Yahr stage and other clinical measures but not with any genetic variant (parkin, LRRK2, APOE). The Blessed score, education, presence of a first degree relative with signs of depression, and UPDRS Part II were found to best predict depressive symptomatology (R2 = 0.33; P = 4 × 10−48). Contrary to several reports, the results from this large study indicate that stage of illness, motor impairment, and functional disability are strongly correlated with depressive symptoms. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society