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Can medication combat depression in Parkinson's patients successfully?

Can medication combat depression in Parkinson's patients successfully?
12th April 2012

A dilemma for treating depression in Parkinson's disease patients has long been finding medication that does not worsen the symptoms of the condition.

However, a new study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology claims that modern anti-depressants are capable of combating depression without causing cognitive deterioration in Parkinson's patients and the exacerbation of other Parkinson's symptoms.

Dr Irene Hegeman Richard, leader of the study, commented: "Depression is the number-one factor negatively affecting the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease."

Consequently, combating depression is instrumental in improving experiences of Parkinson's as whole.

"When the depression is treated adequately, many of the other symptoms become much more manageable for patients," Dr Richard said.

Previously tricyclics were used to treat depression but these caused problems in patients.

However, paroxetine was seen to yield positive outcomes in those with Parkinson's disease.

During trials, those given paroxetine were noted to have a 52 per cent improvement.

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