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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 24 (2011), Issue 3, Pages 201-217

Emotional Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease

Lee X. Blonder1 and John T. Slevin2

1Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Departments of Behavioral Science and Neurology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA
2Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and Neurology Service Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lexington, KY, USA

Received 25 August 2011; Accepted 25 August 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In addition to motor symptomatology, idiopathic Parkinson’s disease is characterized by emotional dysfunction. Depression affects some 30 to 40 percent of Parkinson patients and other psychiatric co-morbidities include anxiety and apathy. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of emotional dysfunction in Parkinson patients suggest abnormalities involving mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic pathways. There is also evidence suggesting that the interaction between serotonin and dopamine systems is important in the understanding and treatment of mood disorders in Parkinson’s disease. In this review we discuss the neuropsychiatric abnormalities that accompany Parkinson's disease and describe their neuropsychological, neuropharmacologic, and neuroimaging concomitants.