Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apathy and depression in Parkinson's Disease

I have a friend who is parkinson’s disease for many years though he is wealthy but he does not believe and trust doctor he prefers to stay what he is. He is believing it will go away “magically. Apathy is one of symptoms of PD besides depression.

The symptoms of Apathy : indifference, unconcern, lifelessness, uninterested, dullness, listless, uninquisitiveness, lack of emotions or feeling,etc

Apathy is a characteristic of Parkinson disease. Apathetic behavior is not something the patient can voluntarily control, and it is not laziness or the patient trying to be difficult — it is a symptom of Parkinson disease.”

Depression is common in Parkinson's and can occur at any stage of the condition.

Symptoms of depression: sadness, poor appetite,
sleep disturbances, fatigue, feelings of guilt, self-criticism and worthlessness

Many believe it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, which may be hereditary or caused by events in a person's lifestlye

The study shows how dopamine shapes the two main circuits of the brain that control how we choose to act and what happens in these disease states, ” said D. James Surmeier, lead author and the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair of physiology at the Feinberg School. The paper is published in the August 8 issue of the journal Science.
These two main brain circuits help us decide whether to act out a desire or not. For example, do you get off the couch and drive to the store for an icy six-pack of beer on a hot summer night, or just lay on the couch?
One circuit is a “stop” circuit that prevents you from acting on a desire; the other is a “go” circuit that provokes you to action. These circuits are located in the striatum, the region of the brain that translates thoughts into actions.
In the study, researchers examined the strength of synapses connecting the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain involved in perceptions, feelings and thought, to the striatum, home of the stop and go circuits that select or prevent action.

Unlike depression, which has a negative component, apathy is distinguished by a lack of motivation with behavioral, cognitive, and affective features. "The behavioral domain includes lack of effort, lack of productivity, and dependence on others to structure activities .

I some times have emotional depression (upset) by helping a friend who has apathy in parkinson's disease who refuses to cooperate.

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