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Psychopathological Symptoms of Depression in Parkinson’s Disease Compared to Major Depression

Merschdorf U.a · Berg D.b · Csoti I.c · Fornadi F.c · Merz B.b · Naumann M.b · Becker G.d · Supprian T.e
Departments of aPsychiatry and bNeurology, University of Würzburg; cGertrudis Hospital, Biskirchen; Departments of dNeurology and ePsychiatry, University of Homburg/Saar, Germany Psychopathology 2003;36:221–225 (DOI:10.1159/000073446)


Parkinson’s disease is frequently associated with depressive symptoms. When depression occurs at early stages and before the onset of characteristic motor symptoms of the disease, differential diagnosis of major depression may be difficult. Differences in psychopathological features of depression in Parkinson’s disease and major depression have been reported by some authors. This study presents data of 49 patients with depression in Parkinson’s disease and 38 patients with major depression. The severity of depressive symptoms was equivalent in both groups. Depressive features did not differ between the two groups with exception of affective flattening, delusional ideas and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this investigation gives support to the assumption of a common neurobiological origin of depression in Parkinson’s disease and major depression.


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