The Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit at UCL



ADepT-PD: A placebo-controlled trial of escitalopram and nortriptyline for depressive symptoms in Parkinson’s, and to examine the effectiveness of nortriptyline to delay motor progression

12 January 2022


Funder: NIHR HTA
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03652870
EudraCT: 2018-002942-35
REC: 19/LO/028

Trial Information

The key aims of the ADepT-PD and ADepT-PD motor progression were to 1) establish the effectiveness of nortriptyline vs escitalopram vs placebo for depressive symptoms in PD (currently largely underrecognised) and 2) to examine the potential effects of nortriptyline to delay motor progression of Parkinson’s itself.

Many different types of antidepressants are available to treat depression in Parkinson’s but which one is the most suitable and effective for people with Parkinson’s is currently unclear. Escitalopram belongs to the most commonly prescribe group of medications for depressive symptoms, the SSRIs, but nortriptyline (a “tricyclic”) has also been suggested to be effective and well tolerated. In addition, there is some preclinical evidence that nortriptyline changes some of the disease processes in Parkinson’s disease. The trial was to examine how effective these treatments are for depressive symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, and also whether nortriptyline, is effective in delaying the slowing of movements associated with Parkinson’s.

The study involved assessments (face to face at study sites or remotely) before start of the trial medication, at 8 week, and then after 6 and 12 months. 

The study is now closed to recruitment.


The Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU) at UCL will design, conduct, analyse and report high quality clinical trials and other well designed studies that fit with the research strategies of UCL and UCL Partners.
In pursuit of this Mission, the UCL Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit will:

Develop partnerships with clinical investigators at all relevant institutions Promote a trial governance structure that supports a compliant, risk-based, proportional approach to the application of regulations


The UCL CCTU will accomplish its mission through CCTU staff and collaborators supporting adoption of its policies and procedures

  • Provide clinical trials leadership and expertise across the whole range of activities required to deliver trials from concept to dissemination and implementation of research findings
  • Employ highly experienced staff with diverse research interests and expertise in clinical trial methodology to enhance the effectiveness of the research pathway