Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emotions in Parkinson's disease

Date:
December 19, 2013
Source:
Sissa Medialab
Summary:
A study conducted investigates the origins of the difficulty recognizing certain emotions that affects patients with Parkinson’s disease. Is this impairment caused by the disease itself or is it in part the consequence of a widely used treatment (deep brain stimulation)?

Is it the disease itself or the treatment that impairs the perception of emotions?

Related Articles


A study conducted with the collaboration of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste investigates the origins of the difficulty recognizing certain emotions that affects patients with Parkinson's disease. Is this impairment caused by the disease itself or is it in part the consequence of a widely used treatment (deep brain stimulation)?

Patients affected by Parkinson's disease may experience, in addition to the more obvious motor symptoms (such as tremors and stiffness), difficulties recognizing emotions in the facial expressions and speech prosody (intonation) of other people. A number of investigations have shown that even deep brain stimulation, a treatment that has become widely used in recent years, may cause similar disorders. SISSA and the University Hospital "Santa Maria della Misericordia" in Udine collaborated in a study that looked into this possibility, finding that the surgical procedure is linked to only a few transient symptoms, and has a very mild effect on impaired recognition of pre-existing emotions.

Although relatively new as a technique, deep brain stimulation has already become very widely used. It consists in electrically stimulating, by means of implanted microelectrodes, the neurons of specific areas in the brain. In Parkinson's disease, the areas to be stimulated are some nuclei making up the basal ganglia. These brain structures are impaired in the disease and produce less dopamine than the body needs, leading to the development of motor symptoms. Electrical stimulation blocks the signals causing the motor symptoms, thereby improving the patient's quality of life.

According to several studies, the deficits in emotional perception experienced by patients with Parkinson's disease could be a consequence of the treatment or of the microlesions produced when the electrode is surgically implanted. "In our study we tried to get to the bottom of the matter," explains Marilena Aiello, from SISSA, the first author of the study. "We compared the performance of twelve patients with that of healthy individuals, in four conditions: before surgery, both on and off medication, and after surgery, a few days or a few months after the operation."

The subjects were asked to respond tests on the recognition of emotions conveyed by facial expressions (visual mode) or speech prosody (auditory mode).

"The patients never exhibited any difficulty in the auditory mode, whereas they were impaired in visual recognition even before they underwent the operation," continues Aiello. "However, the impairment was present for one emotion in particular, that is, for disgust."

After surgery, in addition to still having difficulties in visually recognizing disgust, the patients also performed poorly in discriminating facial expressions conveying sadness. "This kind of impairment was only transient, being detected only a few days after surgery but not months later" explains Aiello. "We therefore believe that this disorder is related to the microlesions produced by electrode implantation, which are largely reabsorbed within a few months, and to the drastic reduction in medication just after the surgical procedure."

The study investigators include Luca De Simone from SISSA who works, together with Aiello, at the Neuroscience and Society Lab directed by Raffaella Rumiati (also involved in this study). The study lends support to the hypothesis that this type of impairment is present before electrical stimulation therapy, even though transient disturbances may develop that are related to the operation. The research has been published in the journal Cortex.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sissa Medialab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marilena Aiello, Roberto Eleopra, Christian Lettieri, Massimo Mondani, Stanislao D'Auria, Enrico Belgrado, Antonella Piani, Luca De Simone, Sara Rinaldo, Raffaella I. Rumiati. Emotion recognition in Parkinson's disease after subthalamic deep brain stimulation: Differential effects of microlesion and STN stimulation. Cortex, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.11.003

Cite This Page:

Sissa Medialab. "Emotions in Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082756.htm>.
Sissa Medialab. (2013, December 19). Emotions in Parkinson's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082756.htm
Sissa Medialab. "Emotions in Parkinson's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082756.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins