Psychopathological features in patients with Parkinson's disease and related caregivers' burden
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Background Along with classical motor disorders in Parkinson's disease (PD), psychopathological features frequently co-occur, which may increase the caregiver's burden.Aims To identify the profile of psychopathological symptoms inpatients with PD and the impact imposed by this condition on the caregiver's burden.Subjects Fifty patients with idiopathic PD seen consecutively at the Movement Disorder Outpatient Clinic at the Hospital of State University of Campinas, Brazil, and their 50 respective caregivers were studied.Methods The 50 patients with PD were divided into three groups according to the respective psychiatric diagnosis received (depression: N = 17, dementia: N = 13 and non-depressed and non-demented: N = 20). We divided the caregivers into three groups according to the mental condition of their patients. To assess the mental condition of patients and the caregiver's burden, and to correlate those psychopathological features found with clinical features of PD, we applied the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).Results Patients with dementia presented the highest NPI scores of psychopathological symptoms (26.4), followed by patients with depression (24.9). Non-depressed and non-demented patients revealed fewer symptoms (7.2). Caregivers, burden was found to be proportional to the degree of patients' symptomatology.Conclusion Patients with dementia presented more severe motor impairment and lower functionality, followed by patients with depression and those non-demented, non-depressed. Psychotic symptoms, agitation, aberrant motor behaviours and sleep disturbances were higher in dementia group. Neuropsychiatric disturbances correlated with caregiver's burden, which was highest in patients with dementia. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.