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Anxiety predicts impulsive-compulsive behaviours in Parkinson’s Disease: clinical relevance and theoretical implications

Di Rosa, Elisa; Mapelli, Daniela; Ronconi, Lucia; Macchia, Eleonora; Gentili, Claudio; Bisiacchi, Patrizia; Edelstyn, Nicky


Elisa Di Rosa

Daniela Mapelli

Lucia Ronconi

Eleonora Macchia

Claudio Gentili

Patrizia Bisiacchi


Patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) often present symptoms of anxiety, depression and apathy. These negative affect manifestations have been recently associated with the presence of Impulsive-Compulsive Behaviours (ICBs). However, their relation with the use of dopamine replacement therapy (DRT), a renewed risk factor for ICBs, is still not fully understood. Elucidating the role of these different ICBs predictors in PD could inform both prevention/intervention recommendations as well as theoretical models. In the present study we have analyzed data collected in 417 PD patients, 50 patients with parkinsonian symptoms but with scan without evidence of dopaminergic deficit (SWEDD), and 185 healthy controls (HC). We examined their clinical profile over a two-year’s time window, investigating the role of both negative affect and DRT on ICBs. Results confirmed the presence of higher levels of anxiety in both the clinical groups, and of higher level of ICBs in SWEDD patients, respect to both PD and HC. Mixed model analysis’ results also revealed a significant association between anxiety and ICBs in the SWEDD patients, who did not take any DRT. Findings suggest the independence between the role of anxiety and DRT in ICBs development and provide new evidence for the motivational opponency theoretical framework.

Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2022
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Journal Journal of Psychiatry Research
Print ISSN 0022-3956
Publisher Elsevier
Pages 220-229
Keywords Impulsivity; Negative affect; Anxiety; Depression; Parkinson's disease; SWEDD
Publisher URL