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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2007 Sep;20(3):161-5.

Antidepressant treatment of veterans with Parkinson's disease and depression: analysis of a national sample.

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


We examined the impact of comorbid Parkinson's disease (PD) on depression treatment. Using national Veterans Affairs (VA) databases, fiscal year 2002 data were examined for 283 273 elderly males seen for depression. We compared 2 matched depression groups, one with (N = 7868) and one without (N = 7868) PD. In the 12-month period following a depression-related clinic visit, PD and non-PD patients were equally likely to fill an antidepressant prescription (77.8% vs. 77.4%), most commonly for a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) (62.9% vs 62.6%). Depressed PD patients had slightly higher rates of newer non-SSRI use (20.6% vs 19.2%, P < .05) and lower rates of tricyclic antidepressant use (7.4% vs 8.9%, P < .001). The presence of a PD diagnosis appears to have little impact on the frequency and type of antidepressant treatment. Efforts to improve the care of depressed PD patients should focus instead on improving recognition, ensuring adequacy of treatment, and evaluating the efficacy of existing antidepressants.

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