Motion and emotion: anxiety-axial connections in Parkinson's disease.

Research paper by Rastislav R Šumec, Irena I Rektorová, Robert R Jech, Kateřina K Menšíková, Jan J Roth, Evžen E Růžička, Dana D Sochorová, Ladislav L Dušek, Petr P Kaňovský, Ivan I Rektor, Tomáš T Pavlík, Pavel P Filip, Martin M Bareš

Indexed on: 24 Nov '16Published on: 24 Nov '16Published in: Journal of Neural Transmission - Parkinson's Disease and Dementia Section


Anxiety is a serious and frequent complication in Parkinson's disease (PD) that significantly affects the quality of life of patients. Multiple neuroanatomical, experimental, and clinical studies suggest its close association with axial disturbances. However, whether this relation applies for PD patients (commonly suffering from axial difficulties, such as balance and gait disturbance) has not been properly tested yet. The purpose of this study was to determine whether PD patients suffering from axial symptoms have higher levels of anxiety than others and to identify other factors associated with anxiety-axial connections. In this questionnaire study, 212 patients with PD were assessed by standardized scales, such as Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, examining their mood and cognitive status. These data were correlated to dominant motor symptoms of these patients, such as tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and axial symptoms. Unlike other motor symptoms, only axial symptoms showed to be significantly related to higher levels of anxiety. The patients suffering from anxiety and axial problems have also shown significantly higher depression levels. Axial disturbances are related to higher anxiety levels in PD patients. It is crucial to pay high attention to symptoms of anxiety in patients having postural instability or gait disorder. Further clinical studies are desirable to investigate new, practical implications of anxiety-axial connection to provide complex management options of these serious symptoms.