Pharmaceutical International News - April 2012
Antidepressants Can Treat Parkinson’s Depression
Posted by Pharmaceutical International's Global Correspondent on 13/04/2012 - 15:40:00
Particular types of antidepressant drugs can be beneficial to depressed Parkinson's patients, without causing the condition to degenerate, according to a new US study.
Researchers examined two, frequently-prescribed new-generation antidepressants and discovered that both helped improve the mental state of patients with the disease. Previously, it had been thought that Parkinson's symptoms could become more intense after the introduction of antidepressants but the results of this research seem to turn this opinion on its head.
"We showed that we have effective and well-tolerated treatments for depression in Parkinson's", The University of Rochester Medical Center's Irene Hegeman Richard MD explained, in a statement.
Antidepressants in Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's, which is characterised by shaky movements and impaired mobility, is shared by close to one million US residents. 115 of these were involved in the Richard-led Study of Antidepressants in Parkinson's Disease (SAD-PD) research.
Of these, approximately 30 per cent were given an antidepressant drug called Paxil (paroxetine), while a further 30 per cent got Effexor (venlafaxine). The Paxil represented a class of drugs known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and the Effexor flew the flag for SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), while the other study participants were administered with a placebo.
Both antidepressant groups demonstrated, after being given one of the drugs, improvements on the depression scale of more than 50 per cent, on average.
Parkinson's Depression Treatments
The placebo also produced a significant Parkinson's depression improvement but one that averaged out at 32 per cent.
"Depression is the thing that most impacts quality of life. It's present in almost 50 per cent of patients", Richard added: "It causes a great deal of suffering among patients.
"The great news here is that it's treatable. And when the depression is treated adequately, many of the other symptoms become much more manageable for patients. After treatment for depression, patients and their families often see a dramatic difference in how they're feeling, within a few weeks or months. They have more interest in things. They have more energy; they're sleeping better. And often-times, there is a great sense of relief, and a huge burden has been lifted."
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