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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1998 Feb;64(2):262-6.

Personality, depression, and premorbid lifestyle in twin pairs discordant for Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurology, Medical University of Lubeck, Germany.


Present personality traits (Freiburg personality inventory, FPI-R), depression (von Zerssen's depression scale), and self assessed state of health were evaluated in 15 twin pairs (six monozygotic and nine dizygotic; mean age 62.5 years) discordant for idiopathic Parkinson's disease and in 17 unrelated healthy control subjects. The twins had additional questionnaire based interviews on premorbid lifestyle. For disability, twins with Parkinson's disease scored lower on FPI-R than controls in "achievement orientation" and "extraversion", higher in "inhibitedness", "somatic complaints", and "emotionality". They scored higher for depression and for state of health than unaffected twins and controls. For zygosity, monozygotic twins scored lower than dizygotic twins in "achievement orientation", "aggressiveness", and "strain". Monozygotic twins had less "achievement orientation" and "extraversion" and more "somatic complaints" than controls. Monozygotic twins had a lower within pair difference than dizygotic twins in "social orientation". During premorbid times the affected twin with later Parkinson's disease was estimated to have been "less often the leader" in the twin pair. Although small in sample size, this twin study indicates a genetic impact for some personality features beyond the Parkinson's disease motor syndrome.

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