A recent study in Turkey has provided some insight into the relationship between pseudoexfoliation syndrome and depression, as well as its association with other systemic diseases. Researchers have found a higher prevalence of antidepressant drug use among patients with the disease. The use of medications for hypertension and coronary artery disease was also higher in the same group.

The population-based, cross-sectional study detected pseudoexfoliation syndrome in 100 (5%) of 2,009 patients. Researchers identified antidepressant drug use in 21 (1.1%) of 1,876 people without pseudoexfoliation syndrome or glaucoma and in three (4.1%) of 74 patients with the disease but without glaucoma. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant.

Of the six participants that the study identified with pseudoexfoliation and psychiatric disease, four had concomitant diabetes, hypertension or coronary artery disease. Of the 100 patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome, 48% had hypertension and 17% had ischemic heart disease.

Researchers believe that the vascular etiology of depression may have increased antidepressant use in these patients and that the presence of multiple chronic comorbidities may have led to depression. They also suggested that inflammation induced by the accumulation of pseudoexfoliative material in the brain may trigger depression and increase antidepressant drug use.

Yaşar E, Yıldırım N, Atalay E. Pseudoexfoliation syndrome and antidepressant drug use. Turk J Ophthalmol. 2019;49:1-5.