CBT for the treatment of depression in Parkinson's disease: A promising nonpharmacological approach

Roseanne De Fronzo Dobkin, Matthew Menza, Karina L. Bienfait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Depression is very common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and linked with a faster progression of physical symptoms, greater cognitive decline and poorer quality of life. Nonpharmacological approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for the treatment of depression in PD (dPD) have received little experimental attention despite strong demonstrated efficacy in other geriatric and medical populations. Depressed PD patients often differ from the depressed non-PD elderly in that they present with increased rates of both executive dysfunction and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses, may differ in their depressive symptom presentation and typically have caregivers who are highly involved in their treatment. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude that empirically validated treatments in the depressed aged will generalize to those with PD. In order to be most effective for PD patients, CBT should be tailored to their unique needs. Additional controlled research is needed to further explore the efficacy of CBT for dPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Depression
  • Nonpharmacological treatment
  • Parkinson's disease


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