Neuropsychiatric symptoms and impairment in performing activities of daily living (ADL) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are strong predictors of the overall caregiver burden and they increase the risk for nursing home admission of the patients. The purpose of the present study was to assess the association of neuropsychiatric symptoms and ADL functions in PD.
A total of 73 community-dwelling PD patients were studied. The mean age of the patient group was 65 years and the mean disease duration was 9 years. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory was used to measure neuropsychiatric symptoms, and ADL abilities were measured by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory.
The prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with PD was 73%. The most common symptoms were depression, anxiety, irritability, apathy and agitation. ADL ability correlated significantly with apathy (p < 0.002) even when adjusted for motor symptoms.
Apathy was significantly associated with ADL in PD. The result indicates that more attention should be paid to identifying apathy and targeting therapeutic interventions.