The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting (AAN 2019) in Philadelphia, PA. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAN 2019.

PHILADELPHIA — Depression and anxiety are associated with levodopa-responsive freezing of gait (FOG) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), but not with levodopa-unresponsive FOG, according to research results presented at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, held May 4-10, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A cohort of 125 patients with PD (mean age, 65±8; disease duration, 8±4 years) were assessed for depression and anxiety using a Structured Clinical Interview, the Beck Depression Inventory-II and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. The FOG Questionnaire and self-report were used to determine one of three FOG subtypes: no freezing, levodopa-responsive freezing (RFOG), and levodopa-unresponsive freezing (URFOG). Investigators used multinomial logistic regression to determine associations between the presence of RFOG or URFOG and the presence vs absence of depression and anxiety, as well as severity of depression and anxiety if present.

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Of the total sample, 14% of patients presented with RFOG, 11% with URFOG, and 18% with depression/anxiety. Current depression was associated with significantly increased odds of RFOG (odds ratio, 4.84; 95% CI, 1.24-19.00; P =.02). In a similar fashion, a marginally-significant association was identified for current anxiety and RFOG (odds ratio 3.90; 95% CI, 0.92-16.50; P =.07). Associations between depression or anxiety and URFOG were not significant.

“These results suggest that anxiety or depression may be differentially associated with [RFOG]. [URFOG] may reflect distinct underlying pathophysiology with potentially less interaction with limbic cortico-basal ganglia pathways,” the investigators included.

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McKay J, Goldstein F, Factor S. Anxiety and depression are associated with levodopa-responsive, but not levodopa-unresponsive, freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease. Presented at: 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, May 4-10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This article originally appeared on Neurology Advisor