Alterations of the sense of self and personality in Parkinson's disease

Patrick McNamara, Raymon Durso, Erica Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: We hypothesized that alterations of subcomponents ('harm-avoidance') of personality and the sense of Self in patients with PD would be associated with executive cognitive dysfunction. Methods: Thirty-four patients with PD and 17 age-matched controls with chronic disease were assessed with a set of neuropsychologic, personality and mood tests as well as an experimental assessment of the sense of Self. Results: On personality and self tests, PD patients evidenced higher harm avoidance, lower novelty seeking scores, and lower recall rates of personally experienced events from childhood than controls and this PD personality profile was associated with poor performance on neuropsychologic tests of executive prefrontal function. PD patients, however, did not differ significantly from controls in their subjectively felt congruence between their present Selves and their hoped-for Selves. Conclusions: We suggest that harm-avoidance personality and Self-related changes of PD are due, in part, to a memory disorder associated with frontal dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Frontal lobes
  • Harm-avoidance
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Personality
  • Self
  • Temperament and character inventory


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