Prevalence of anxiety disorders and anxiety subtypes in patients with Parkinson's disease

Gregory M. Pontone, James R. Williams, Karen E. Anderson, Gary Chase, Susanne A. Goldstein, Stephen Grill, Elaina S. Hirsch, Susan Lehmann, John T. Little, Rusell L. Margolis, Peter V. Rabins, Howard D. Weiss, Laura Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anxiety disorders are common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but are not well characterized. This study determined the prevalence and clinical correlates of all DSM-IVTR anxiety disorder diagnoses in a sample of 127 subjects with idiopathic PD who underwent comprehensive assessments administered by a psychiatrist and neurologist. A panel of six psychiatrists with expertise in geriatric psychiatry and/or movement disorders established by consensus all psychiatric diagnoses. Current and lifetime prevalence of at least one anxiety disorder diagnosis was 43% (n = 55) and 49% (n = 63), respectively. Anxiety disorder not otherwise specified, a DSM diagnosis used for anxiety disturbances not meeting criteria for defined subtypes, was the most common diagnosis (30% lifetime prevalence, n = 38). Compared with nonanxious subjects, panic disorder (n = 13) was associated with earlier age of PD onset [50.3 (12.2) vs. 61.0 (13.7) years, P < 0.01], higher rates of motor fluctuations [77% (10/13) vs. 39% (25/64), P 5 0.01] and morning dystonia [38% (5/13) vs. 13% (8/62), P < 0.03]. This high prevalence of anxiety disorders, including disturbances often not meeting conventional diagnostic criteria, suggests that anxiety in PD is likely underdiagnosed and undertreated and refined characterization of anxiety disorders in PD is needed. In addition, certain anxiety subtypes may be clinically useful markers associated with disease impact in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1338
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009


  • Anxiety
  • Nonmotor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Psychiatric disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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