Neuromuscular Disorders

Managing Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders

Long-Term Change in Comorbid Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders (N = 329)

2010 – 2020

Of the patients treated in the Neuromuscular Center, 329 were found to have depression at the time of their initial office visits. At follow-up, depressive symptoms improved in 48% of patients, remained stable in 44.4%, and worsened in 7.6% (median duration between visits, 775 days; range, 91-4331). Depression is a treatable comorbidity in all patient groups in the long term, regardless of the neuromuscular diagnosis. The graph displays changes in Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score from initial visit to follow-up for the various neuromuscular conditions. Improvement in depressive symptoms occurred the most often (62.1%) in patients with motor neuron disease (median duration between visits, 394 days; range, 91-2870) and the least often in patients with myopathy (38.9%) (median duration between visits, 1318.5 days; range, 120-4331). Depression was defined by a baseline PHQ-9 score of ≥ 10 at the time of the patient’s initial office visit. Clinically meaningful change was defined as a total point change ≥ 5.1. N = patients with PHQ-9 data available for 2 visits between 2010 and 2020 at least 90 days apart.¹

  1. Löwe B, Unützer J, Callahan CM, Perkins AJ, Kroenke K. Monitoring depression treatment outcomes with the patient health questionnaire-9. Med Care. 2004 Dec;42(12):1194-1201.