Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tech & Science

Parkinson’s disease alters emotion-related bodily sensations

Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system have influence, for example, on the blood circulation and gastrointestinal tract function.

Impact on the brain of Parkinson's disease. Image by Beckie Port CC BY 2.5,
Impact on the brain of Parkinson's disease. Image by Beckie Port CC BY 2.5,

Scientists working at the University of Turku in Finland have demonstrated that bodily sensations related to emotions are altered by the neurological disorder Parkinson’s disease.

This finding is of significance, since emotions have a major impact on the way we act, and they regulate our hormones and many of the body’s vital functions. Emotions can also be associated with strong physical reactions and sensations, such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

It also stands that emotions are reflected in the symptoms of many neurological and psychiatric disorders, with negative emotions in particular disease. One such disease is Parkinson’s disease, a neurological movement disorder.

Further with the condition, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system have influence, for example, on the blood circulation and gastrointestinal tract function.

With the research, the scientists investigated the bodily sensations of basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and neutral) in Finnish Parkinson’s disease patients.

The subjects were asked to identify their symptoms and bodily sensations associated with different emotions by drawing them on an electronic human body map using a computer mouse.

The research outcome was that Parkinson’s disease patients were found to have significant differences in all bodily sensations related to basic emotions when compared with the control subjects.

The differences were most pronounced in the bodily sensations of anger, which in healthy people are focused in the chest area. In people with Parkinson’s disease, the bodily sensation of anger in the chest was reduced and seemed to shift more to the abdominal region as the disease progressed, consistent with the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The study is the first to show abnormalities in the emotion-related bodily sensations in a neurological disorder. The results may open up new perspectives into the symptoms and possibly even treatment of symptoms in neurological disorders.

The research has been published in the journal Movement Disorders, titled “Bodily maps of symptoms and emotions in Parkinson’s disease.”

Avatar photo
Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:

Tech & Science

The social network formerly known as Twitter has fully migrated over to X.com, owner Elon Musk said on Friday.

Life

Staying in a campervan is reasonably cost-effective way in this country.

Business

Spotify has been sued in New York for allegedly underpaying royalties - Copyright AFP/File Lionel BONAVENTUREMusic streaming giant Spotify has been sued in a...

Entertainment

Stockholm on Friday welcomed Taylor Swift for the second leg of her European Eras Tour that has boosted the city's economy.