Depressive symptoms in patients with essential tremor (ET) were associated with poorer cognition and functional impairment, but not tremor severity, according to a recent study. Hence, these data do not support the hypothesis that depression in ET represents a psychological reaction to the tremor. The following measures were cross-sectionally assessed in a group of 223 subjects with ET: The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) Scale, the Lawton Independent Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale, a neurologist assessment of tremor severity, and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Researchers found:
- 20% (44) of the subjects met GDS criteria for depression (GDS ≥ 10).
- 43% (94) of the subjects showed at least some cognitive impairment (≤24 on the MoCA), and 15.3% (34) reported significant functional impairment (IADL score < 7).
- There was no significant association between GDS score and tremor scale score.
- >60% of subjects who were depressed, per GDS cut-off score (≥10), were not receiving medical treatment for depression.
Huey ED, Cosentino S, Chapman S, et al. Self-report depressive symptoms are dissociated from tremor severity in essential tremor. [Published online ahead of print February 19, 2018]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.02.031.