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Self- Disgust in Parkinson disease

Self- Disgust in Parkinson disease
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Presenter(s) Ms Vasileia Aristotelidou, PhD student Department of Psychology, TUoS
Seminar type Research Student Seminar
Location Online
Date and time 16/09/2020, 11:30-12:30
Website http://

Parkinson’s disease is the second commonest neurodegenerative disease (Braak & Del Tredici, 2008), affects more than 4 million people word-wide, and is estimated to reach 8 million cases by 2030 (Dorsey et al., 2007). Apart from the apparent motor symptoms, Parkinson’s disease is manifest along with autonomous nervous system dysfunction (Goldstein, 2003) and psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety (Poewe, 2008). Previous research in our laboratory has shown that Parkinson’s patients (PD), compared to healthy controls (HC), experience higher levels of self- disgust (Tsatali et al., 2019), an under-investigated self- conscious emotion which is linked with impaired cognition in depression (Overton et al., 2008) and anxiety (Amir et al., 2010). Apart from self- disgust, we also assessed two closely related self- conscious emotions of guilt and shame. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) can be recording with Electrocardiogram (ECG), it reflects parasympathetic activity as it is regulated by heart- brain interactions via the autonomic nervous system, mostly by parasympathetic subdivision (Chapleau & Sabharwal, 2011), so it is strongly linked with emotional and physical well- being (Mulcahy et al., 2019). Skin Conductance Response (SCR) can be recorded with electrodes attached to the fingers, it represents sympathetic activity and it is indicative of emotional arousal and valence (Christopoulos et al., 2016). Data from 40 Parkinson patients (17 men, [M= 71.73, SD= 9.93] and 40 matched healthy controls (18 men [M= 71.87, SD= 9.02]) were analysed with Artiifact and Ledalab neurophysiology software packages, in order to assess HRV and SCR, respectively. Our purpose is to investigate if elevated levels of self- disgust in PD are associated with increased autonomic activation.

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