Original Research Article
Depression and Dementia in Parkinson's Disease: Catecholamine Changes in the Locus coeruleus - Basis for TherapyChan-Palay V.
Neurology Clinic, University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland
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This paper describes the clinical, psychometric, neuropathological, and neurotransmitter immunocytochemical studies on 9 patients selected from the Zürich study on dementia and Parkinson''s disease (PD). It confirms the age-related loss of norepinephrine neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) in control patients without neurological or psychiatric disease. The loss of LC neurons in patients with PD, with coexistent depression, with nonischemic dementia or both in coexistence, increased with the severity and complexity of the diseases. The 5 cases with depressive disorders, depression, PD with depression, and PD with depression and dementia had in common severe LC norepinephrine cell losses, and neurons with low catecholamine-synthesizing enzyme and, presumably, reduced norepinephrine levels. The significance of these findings in relation to the possible treatment of depression in PD with other multiple symptoms with antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase A inhibitors, which manipulate the LC norepinephrine levels, are discussed.
© 1991 S. Karger AG, Basel
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