Randomized study of sertraline and low-dose amitriptyline in patients with Parkinson's disease and depression: Effect on quality of life

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We assessed the effect of 3-month treatment of sertraline (50 mg) or low-dose amitriptyline (25 mg) on depression and quality of life in 31 patients with Parkinson's disease in a prospective single-blind randomized study. Both drugs significantly reduced the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) score. Completion rate was 75% for sertraline (12 of 16) and 73% for amitriptyline (11 of 15). Responder rate (HDRS-17 score reduction ≥ 50%) was 83.3% for sertraline and 72.7% for amitriptyline. Sertraline but not amitriptyline treatment determined a significant benefit on quality of life (PDQ-39 scale). We found no change in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores. However, the improvement in specific PDQ-39 subscores (mobility, activities of daily living, and stigma) suggests that depression affects patient self-perception of motor function and further emphasizes the need for its treatment. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society

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