Background: Mutations in parkin are a known genetic risk factor for early onset Parkinson's disease (EOPD) but their role in non-motor manifestations is not well established. Genetic factors for depression are similarly not well characterized. We investigate the role of parkin mutations in depression among those with EOPD and their relatives.
Methods: We collected psychiatric information using the Patient Health Questionnaire and Beck Depression Inventory II on 328 genotyped individuals including 88 probands with early onset PD (41 with parkin mutations, 47 without) and 240 first and second-degree relatives without PD.
Results: Genotype was not associated with depression risk among probands. Among unaffected relatives of EOPD cases, only compound heterozygotes (n = 4), and not heterozygotes, had significantly increased risk of depressed mood (OR = 14.1; 95% CI 1.2-163.4), moderate to severe depression (OR = 17.8; 95% CI 1.0-332.0), depression (score ≥ 15) on the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) (OR = 51.9; 95% CI 4.1-657.4), and BDI-II total depression score (β = 8.4; 95% CI 2.4-11.3) compared to those without parkin mutations.
Conclusions: Relatives of EOPD cases with compound heterozygous mutations and without diagnosed PD may have a higher risk of depression compared to relatives without parkin mutations. These findings support evidence of a genetic contribution to depression and may extend the phenotypic spectrum of parkin mutations to include non-motor manifestations that precede the development of PD.
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