Depressive symptoms are common in essential tremor (ET) and may be a primary feature of the underlying disease. However, it is still unclear whether depression in ET and depression in primary affective disorders share common clinical manifestations. Sixty-one depressed ET patients and 112 depressed patients without ET were assessed using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). We compared the individual depressive symptoms of the two groups by comparing MADRS subitem scores. Although there was no significant difference between the level of cognitive function and the severity of depression, patients with ET had a lower score on items "reported sadness", "inability to feel" and "pessimistic thoughts", and a higher score on items "concentration difficulties" and "lassitude" than those of patients without ET. These results show that depressive symptoms in patients with ET possess distinct characteristics compared to those in depressed patients without ET.
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