Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Departments of Occupational Therapy and Psychology & Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Center for Neurorehabilitation, Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Correspondence to: Cristina Colón-Semenza, PT, MPT, PhD, University of Connecticut, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, Kinesiology Building, Unit 4137, Storrs, CT 06269, USA. Tel.: +1 860 486 0019; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:People with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) are less active than their age-matched peers. Non-motor symptoms, specifically, deficient motivation, may influence decision-making for exercise due to the impaired mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Objective:The purpose of this study was to determine if effort-based decision-making for physical effort was different in PwPD compared to healthy controls. We sought to determine the relationship between effort-based decision making for exercise and a discrete motor task as well as the impact of components of motivation on decision-making for physical effort in PwPD. Methods:An effort-based decision-making paradigm using a discrete motor task (button pressing) and a continuous exercise task (cycling) was implemented in 32 PwPD and 23 healthy controls. Components of motivation were measured using the Apathy Scale and the Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scale- Anticipatory Pleasure scale. Results:The presence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) did not moderate decisions for either physical effort task. There was a moderate correlation between decisions for both tasks, within each group. The anticipation of pleasure and apathy were predictors of decisions for both physical effort tasks in PwPD, but not in healthy controls. Conclusion:PwPD responded similarly to effort and reward valuations compared to those without PD. Individuals were consistent in their decisions, regardless of the physical effort task. The anticipation of pleasure and apathy were significant predictors of decisions for exercise in PwPD only. Increased anticipation of pleasure, reduction of apathy, and the use of rewards may enhance engagement in high effort exercise among PwPD.