Differential effects of L-dopa and subthalamic stimulation on depressive symptoms and hedonic tone in Parkinson's disease

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006 Summer;18(3):397-401. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2006.18.3.397.


Patients with Parkinson's disease frequently have mild to moderate depression and exhibit low hedonic tone. The authors investigate the impact of a single L-dopa challenge and the acute effects of electric stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) on symptoms of depression and hedonic tone. Depressive symptoms improved with L-dopa and STN stimulation to the same extent. However, hedonic tone improved only with L-dopa. Most of the emotional changes did not correlate with changes in motor performance, indicating they were not just reactive but specific to the treatment. These results demonstrate a single dissociation of depressive symptoms and anhedonia in response to an acute L-dopa and STN-stimulation challenge.

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa