Low Frequency of Leisure-Time Activities Correlates with Cognitive Decline and Apathy in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease


Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate habitual leisure-time activities (physical and non-physical leisure activities) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and to determine any potential benefits of these activities on cognitive functions and emotional symptoms. Methods: Thirty-two patients with PD and 25 demographically-matched healthy controls participated in the present study. Neuropsychological tests (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trail Making Test, Digit Span Test, Verbal Fluency Test, and Japanese Verbal Learning Test), assessment of emotional sym- ptoms, and interviews for confirmation of habitual leisure-time activities were conducted for all participants. Results: Patients with PD significantly showed the lower frequency of both physical and non-physical leisure activities than healthy controls. Compared to patients who engaged in physical leisure activities, patients who did not engage in such activities performed worse on the Trail Making Test (TMT-B, and TMT-B minus A). Moreover, patients who engaged in non-physical leisure activities were less apathetic than patients who did not engage in such activities. Conclusions: Our preliminary study shows that habitual leisure-time activities correlate with cognitive function and emotions in patients with PD. Reducing sedentary lifestyles and promoting habitual leisure-time activities may be helpful for preventing cognitive decline and apathy.

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Miura, K. , Takashima, S. , Matsui, M. and Tanaka, K. (2014) Low Frequency of Leisure-Time Activities Correlates with Cognitive Decline and Apathy in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Advances in Parkinson's Disease, 3, 15-21. doi: 10.4236/apd.2014.33004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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