Perceived Treatment Status of Fluctuations in Parkinson Disease Impacts Suicidality

Jared T. Hinkle, Kate Perepezko, Zoltan Mari, Laura Marsh, Gregory M. Pontone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: On/off motor fluctuations in Parkinson disease (PD) can be associated with extreme mood fluctuations and severe dysphoria. The impact of these affective symptoms may be overlooked in the treatment of motor fluctuations. Our goal was to examine the relationship between motor fluctuations, their treatment status, and suicidality in PD participants. Methods: We analyzed data from the Methods of Optimal Depression Detection in Parkinson's Disease (MOOD-PD) study of 223 individuals with PD. Suicidality was measured using items from four depression scales: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-17); Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS); Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C); and the self-rated Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Multivariable Poisson regression analyses tested whether self-reported motor fluctuations and their treatment status were associated with suicidality while controlling for recognized risk factors. Results: Thirty-seven participants (16.6%) self-reported suicidality and 89 (39.5%) self-reported motor fluctuations, of whom 21 (23.6%) perceived their fluctuations as untreated. Participants reporting untreated motor fluctuations more frequently had a current depressive disorder (p < 0.001) and endorsed suicidality (p = 0.006) than participants with treated or no fluctuations. They also had significantly higher total scores on the HAM-D-17, MADRS, IDS-C, and BDI depression scales (p < 0.001 for each). Regression analyses showed significant associations between untreated motor fluctuations and higher scores on suicide questions extracted from the HAM-D-17, MADRS, and IDS-C (p < 0.01 for each). Conclusions: PD patients with untreated motor fluctuations are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and should be monitored for mood changes as treatment is adapted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-710
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Parkinson disease
  • depression
  • fluctuations
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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