Physical activity and neuropsychiatric symptoms of Parkinson disease

J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2012 Sep;25(3):138-45. doi: 10.1177/0891988712455237. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


Neuropsychiatric symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD) such as fatigue, depression, and apathy are common and detract from quality of life. There is little published on the impact of physical activity on the neuropsychiatric symptoms of PD. A convenience sample of 45 patients with PD (mean age = 66.1 years; 33% female) completed questionnaires on physical activity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and specific exercise preferences. Covarying for age and gender, higher levels of physical activity were associated with significantly less fatigue, as well as a trend for less apathy and depression and greater positive affect. Exercise preferences included moderate intensity (73%), at home (56%), in the morning (73%), scheduled (69%), options for varied activities (73%), and preference for both structured/supervised (50%), and unsupervised/self-paced (50%) programs. Preferred activities included the use of aerobic exercise equipment, resistance training, and yoga. Developing and tailoring exercise programs that incorporate specific preferences may result in more effective interventions for patients with PD.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Apathy
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Fatigue / complications
  • Fatigue / prevention & control
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Resistance Training
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Yoga / psychology