Depression and Parkinson's disease: possible role of serotonergic mechanisms

J Neurol. 1987 Feb;234(2):94-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00314109.


Depression is frequently encountered in Parkinson's disease and was seen to occur in 14 of 26 patients studied. The levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), the main metabolite of serotonin (5-HT), in CSF samples of the patients were significantly lower than in those of controls. However, within the group of patients the levels of 5-HIAA in CSF samples were significantly lower in the depressive subgroup compared with the non-depressive patients. Moreover, no correlation was recorded between motor disability and depression. The results indicate that disturbed 5-HT metabolism may possibly play a role in Parkinson's disease as a predisposing factor in the development of depression.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*


  • Serotonin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid