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(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - Is apathy in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) merely a symptom of depression or a core symptom of PD itself? In the July issue of Neurology, researchers from the University of Florida surveyed patients with PD, a population known to exhibit high rates of both depression and apathy, and patients who had dystonia, another subcortical disorder. Kirsch-Darrow and colleagues administered several mood questionnaires to 80 patients with PD and 20 patients with adult-onset dystonia.

The researchers found a higher frequency of apathy in patients with PD (51%) than in patients with dystonia (20%), as well as higher scores on the Apathy Evaluation Scale, while patients in the 2 groups had similar frequencies of depression.

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