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Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1990 October; 53(10): 869–873.
PMCID: PMC488248

Specificity of affective and autonomic symptoms of depression in Parkinson's disease.


Previous investigators have suggested that numerous symptoms used to diagnose depression, such as sleep or appetite disturbance, are non-specific in medically ill patients, and alternative diagnostic criteria should be developed. In the study this hypothesis was tested in Parkinson's disease (PD) by comparing patients with PD who reported a depressive mood with patients having PD but without a depressive mood. Depressed patients showed a significantly higher frequency of both autonomic and affective symptoms of depression. Depressed patients with PD reported a significantly higher frequency of worrying, brooding, loss of interest, hopelessness, suicidal tendencies, social withdrawal, self-depreciation, ideas of reference, anxiety symptoms, loss of appetite, initial and middle insomnia, and loss of libido when compared with non-depressed patients. No significant between-group differences, however, were observed in the frequency of anergia, motor retardation, and early morning awakening.

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