• depression;
  • dopamine receptor agonists;
  • Parkinson's disease

An 8-month multicentre prospective randomized study aimed at comparing the effects of dopamine receptor agonists pramipexole (PPX; Mirapexin®) and pergolide (PRG; Permax®) as add-on to L-dopa therapy on depression [Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)] in 41 non-demented patients (25 men, 16 women) suffering from both mild or moderate depression and advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). The assessment was performed by a blinded independent observer. Motor symptoms (UPDRS III), motor complications (UPDRS IV), activities of daily living (UPDRS II and VI) and depressive symptoms as measured by Self – Rating Depression Scale by Zung were evaluated in an open-label design.

The average value of Zung scores decreased significantly in both groups with no statistical difference between both groups. A significant decrease in the average value of MADRS scores was present only in the PPX group. The average UPDRS scores decreased significantly with no statistical difference between both groups at the comparable average total daily dose of both preparations. In both cases, the total daily dose of L-dopa decreased significantly but the decrease was statistically more pronounced in the PRG group.

Our results demonstrate the antidepressant effect of PPX in patients with PD while we can't make any conclusions with regard to antidepressant effect of PRG.