Last updated on August 2019

Move to Improve Physical Activity in Parkinson's Disease

Brief description of study

Apathy is a multi-dimensional behavior characterized by impairments to motivation, planning and initiation; collectively called, goal-directed behavior. It is highly prevalent in patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease (PD) as well as psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. In PD, specifically, apathy is one of the more troublesome symptoms. Apathetic PD patients have greater disability, lower adherence to treatment plans and caregivers report greater stress and burden.

Interventions grounded in behavioral economic theories, namely, financial and social incentives often promote positive behavioral change such as weight loss and smoking cessation. However, the effectiveness of these interventions varies across and within conditions and incentive type. It also tends to dissipate when incentives are no longer provided. To date, these approaches have not been used to promote behavior change in PD or other neurological conditions where apathetic behaviors are a pressing problem. The overall goal of this study is to test if behavioral economic approaches will reduce apathy, and subsequently, improve goal-directed behavior in Parkinson's disease.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04051151

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