Short communication| Volume 43, P114-117, October 2017

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Impact of anxiety, apathy and reduced functional autonomy on perceived quality of life in Parkinson's disease


      • Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms (NMS).
      • Motor and NMS may impact negatively on Health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
      • Reduced HRQoL was associated with poorer cognitive performance.
      • Reduced HRQoL was associated with more severe depression, apathy and anxiety in PD.
      • Reduced functional autonomy, high anxiety and apathy contributed to reduce HRQoL in PD.



      Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a wide spectrum of non-motor symptoms that may impact negatively on the activities of the patient's daily life and reduce Health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The present study explored the impact of specific non-motor symptoms on the HRQoL in PD.


      Eighty-four outpatients underwent the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) assessing global functioning and several questionnaires to assess depression, apathy, impulse control disorders (ICD), anxiety, anhedonia and functional impact of cognitive impairment. The perceived QoL was assessed by Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8).
      The PD sample was divided into patients with high and low HRQoL around the median of PDQ-8 and compared on clinical features, cognitive and neuropsychiatric variables. A linear regression analysis, in which the global functioning, apathy, depression, anxiety, anhedonia, ICD and the functional autonomy scores were entered as independent variables and PDQ-8 score as dependent variable, was applied.


      Patients with lower HRQoL were more depressed, apathetic, anxious and showed more severe reduction of functional autonomy and global functioning than patients with high HRQoL. The regression analysis revealed that higher level of anxiety, executive apathy and more reduced functional autonomy were significantly associated with higher score on PDQ-8.


      The finding indicated that anxiety, apathy associated with impaired planning, attention and organization (i.e., executive apathy evaluated by the Dimensional Apathy Scale) and reduced functional autonomy contribute significantly to reduce the HRQoL in PD. Therefore, early identification and management of these neuropsychiatric symptoms should be relevant to preserve HRQoL in PD.


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