Scientists have long noted that people suffering from Parkinsons disease commonly exhibit a specific personality type characterized by, among other things, a lower-than-average tendency to seek out new experiences. In explanation, investigators suggested that this trait was rooted in an inability to reap the pleasurable rewards of increased dopamine levels normally brought about by new stimuli because the disease destroys the neurotransmitter. Previous studies of personality and dopamine activity in Parkinsons patients involved subjects receiving treatment for their disease. Now, for the first time, scientists have examined the link between personality and Parkinsons in patients yet to receive medication. The report, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that, in fact, dopamine is not involved in regulating the low-novelty-seeking trait associated with Parkinsons.
Valtteri Kaasinen of the University of Turku in Finland and colleagues studied 61 patients who had been diagnosed with Parkinsons within the past five years but were not taking medication and compared them to a control group of 45 healthy subjects. Using personality questionnaires, the scientists compared traits such as novelty seeking and harm avoidance between the two groups. Unlike previously reported studies involving medicated patients, the correlation between low novelty seeking and Parkinsons was not highly significant. The authors suggest the previously demonstrated link may have been due in part to the medication administered to treat the disease. Parkinsons patients did, however, score significantly higher than control subjects for the harm avoidance personality trait, often associated with anxiety and depression. But the authors note that this trait is not disease-specific and "possibly reflects a psychological response to a chronic disease."
The team next investigated the explicit role of dopamine in mediating the personality of a Parkinsons patient. Using positron emission tomography (PET), the scientists studied the uptake of radioactively labeled L-DOPA (a precursor to dopamine) in the brains of 47 of the Parkinsons patients. Participants with high scores for harm avoidance demonstrated increased uptake of L-DOPA in the brains right caudate region. But patients with low scores for novelty seeking did not show a similar reaction to L-DOPA. "Although the results of this study are not in disagreement with the concept of low-novelty-seeking personality type in Parkinsons disease," the authors conclude, "the personality type does not seem to be dopamine dependent."
Sarah Graham | Scientific American
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences