Comparing the Quality of Life in Parkinson Disease Patients With Subthreshold Depression vs Patients With No Depressive Disorder

Close up doctor wearing blue gloves holding elderly woman’s shaking hands, Parkinson disease
Subthreshold depression was found to be a problem with Parkinson Disease patients. Quality of life is worse and non-motor symptoms burden is greater.

A study conducted by researchers in Spain and published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences confirms a higher prevalence of depression and lower quality of life in people with Parkinson disease (PD) compared to those without.

Researchers also compared quality of life in Parkinson disease patients with subclinical depression compared to those without depression or who had other depressive disorders.

Participants were recruited from 35 centers in Spain from the COPPADIS-2015 cohort. Researchers used the Beck Depression Inventory II to evaluate mood. A 39-item PD questionnaire, a 1 to 10 rating on global perceived quality of life, and the EUROHIS-QOL index were used to assess quality of life.

The frequency of depressive symptoms in the PD cohort compared to the control was as follows: major depression, 16.1% vs 7.8%; minor depression, 16.7% vs 7.3%; subD, 17.4% vs 5.8% [11]. Not including participants with major and minor depression, 120 out of 468 patients (25.6%) presented with subclinical depression.

PD patients with subclinical depression and without depressive symptoms reported greater impairment of non-motor symptoms and poorer quality of sleep. Subclinical depression PD patients reported lower health and global quality of life compared to patients without depression.

Looking at the cohort as a whole, quality of life was significantly lower in PD patients with subclinical depression (PDQ-39SI, PQ-10 and EUROHIS-QOL8, P<.0001), as well as those without depression (PDQ-39SI and EUROHIS-QOL8, P<.0001; PQ-10, P=0.004) compared to the control group.

The study authors suggest future studies to analyze the origin of the relationship between depression, quality of life, and PD.

Mood may have influenced results of the questionnaires. Due to inclusion and exclusion criteria, the study is not representative of the entire PD population.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared financial affiliations with industry. Please see the original reference for the full list of disclosures.


Santos-García D, de Deus Fonticoba T, Suárez Castro E, et al., Quality of life and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients with subthreshold depression [published online August 28, 2020]. J. Neurol. Sci. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.117109