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Demoralization Common in Patients With Parkinson's Disease

Demoralization, but not depression, is associated with motor dysfunction

woman face showing signs of stress and worry

WEDNESDAY, April 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Demoralization is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and is associated with motor dysfunction, according to a study published online April 4 in Neurology.

Brian B. Koo, M.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues sought to determine the prevalence and associated features of demoralization in PD through questionnaires completed by 94 patients with PD and 86 controls.

The researchers found that demoralization was more common with PD (P = 0.05). While demoralization was highly associated with depression, some individuals had one and not the other. For example, among participants with PD, seven of 19 depressed individuals were not demoralized and five of 17 demoralized individuals were not depressed. Overall, having PD was associated with demoralization (odds ratio, 2.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 6.80; P = 0.051).

"Demoralization is common in PD and is associated with motor dysfunction. In demoralization, there is a prominent inability to cope, making it somewhat distinct from depression," the authors write. "Treatment approaches are also different, making it important to identify demoralization in patients with PD."

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