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Did depressive symptoms affect recognition of emotional prosody in Parkinson’s disease?

Authors Feijó AV, Rieder CRM, Chaves MLF

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:4(3) Pages 669—674


Adriana Vélez Feijó1, Carlos RM Rieder3, Márcia LF Chaves2

1Medical Sciences Post-Graduate Course; 2Internal Medicine Department, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; 3Movement Disorders Clinic Coordinator, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Objective: Evaluate the influence of depressive symptoms on the recognition of emotional prosody in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, and identify types of emotion on spoken sentences.

Methods: Thirty-five PD patients and 65 normal participants were studied. Dementia was checked with the Mini Mental State Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating scale, and DSM IV. Recognition of emotional prosody was tested by asking subjects to listen to 12 recorded statements with neutral affective content that were read with a strong affective expression. Subjects had to recognize the correct emotion by one of four descriptors (angry, sad, cheerful, and neutral). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was employed to rate depressive symptoms with the cutoff 14.

Results: Total ratings of emotions correctly recognized by participants below and above the BDI cutoff were similar among PD patients and normal individuals. PD patients who correctly identified neutral and anger inflections presented higher rates of depressive symptoms (p = 0.011 and 0.044, respectively). No significant differences were observed in the normal group.

Conclusions: Depression may modify some modalities of emotional prosody perception in PD, by increasing the perception of non-pleasant emotions or lack of affection, such as anger or indifference.

Keywords: emotional prosody, Parkinson’s disease, depression, emotion

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