In case of Parkinson’s patients, professionals aim at drugs which can treat depression as well as keep their motor skills consistent . Finally, they seem to have found some antidepressants that can alleviate depressive symptoms in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease without impairing their motor abilities.

The drugs trialed were inclusive of SSRIs such as paroxetine and SNRIs like venlafaxine. This 3–month study constituted nearly 115 persons at distinct stages of the disease and who conformed to the depression criteria.

While one set was administered paroxetine, the second group consumed venlafaxine. Both these sets were pitted against control subjects. By accessing something known as the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the team found that paroxetine treated almost 59% of the symptoms, while venlafaxine reduced almost 52% of depression among the participants. The dummy pills given to the control group seemed to lessen about 32% of the condition.

“The newer antidepressants have fewer side effects but we didn’t know if they’d be effective in people with Parkinson’s. We were also worried that they might worsen the motor problems that come with the disease,” cited author Irene H. Richard, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Importantly, motor skills of persons consuming the aforesaid drugs did not appear to deteriorate. This is one positive point as older medications are known to reduce depression, but they have a negative impact on the patients’ motor capabilities.

The report is published in the April 11 issue of the journal, Neurology.