Scientific article

Emotion recognition impairment and apathy after subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson's disease have separate neural substrates

Published inNeuropsychologia, vol. 46, no. 11, p. 2796-2801
Publication date2008

Objective: To test the hypothesis that emotion recognition and apathy share the same functional circuit involving the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Methods:Aconsecutive series of 17 patients with advancedParkinson's disease (PD)was assessed3months before (M−3) and 3 months (M+ 3) after STN deep brain stimulation (DBS). Mean (±S.D.) age at surgery was 56.9 (8.7) years. Mean disease duration at surgery was 11.8 (2.6) years. Apathy was measured using the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES) at bothM−3 and M3. Patientswere also assessed using a computerised paradigm of facial emotion recognition [Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1976). Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologist Press] before and after STN DBS. Prior to this, the Benton Facial Recognition Test was used to check that the ability to perceive faces was intact. Results: Apathy had significantly worsened at M3 (42.5±8.9, p = 0.006) after STN-DBS, in relation to the preoperative assessment (37.2±5.5). Therewas also a significant reduction in recognition percentages for facial expressions of fear (43.1%±22.9 vs. 61.6%±21.4, p = 0.022) and sadness (52.7%±19.1 vs. 67.6%±22.8, p = 0.031) after STN DBS. However, the postoperativeworsening of apathy andemotion recognition impairment were not correlated. Conclusions: Our results confirm that the STN is involved in both the apathy and emotion recognition networks. However, the absence of any correlation between apathy and emotion recognition impairmentsuggests that the worsening of apathy following surgery could not be explained by a lack of facial emotion recognition and that its behavioural and cognitive components should therefore also be taken into consideration.

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic
  • Nucleus
  • Apathy
  • Emotion
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
DRAPIER, D. et al. Emotion recognition impairment and apathy after subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson’s disease have separate neural substrates. In: Neuropsychologia, 2008, vol. 46, n° 11, p. 2796–2801. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.05.006
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0028-3932

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