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April 6, 2022
Objective: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which can substantially affect nonmotor functions related to emotional processing. We aimed to examine the underlying differences in emotional processing in PD by comparing how early-stage PD patients recognize, rate, and react to facial, bodily, and vocal emotional stimuli to that of healthy controls (HC). Method: We compared emotion recognition, emotional rating bias, and emotional response range between a PD patient group (n = 33) and a HC group (n = 29). Pearson’s correlations were conducted to evaluate the relationship between emotion processing measures and clinical outcome measures in each group. Results: PD patients showed an enhanced emotion processing as compared to HC. They were overall more accurate than HC’s at identifying correct emotions and furthermore showed an increase in emotional ratings and reactions to both positive and negative stimuli that scaled with increased symptom severity, thereby yielding significant correlations between clinical outcomes and emotional range in the PD patient group. Conclusion: Our results suggest that alterations in emotional processing reflect disease progression in early PD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

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