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Apathy and anhedonia rating scales in Parkinson's disease: Critique and recommendations


  • Potential conflict of interest: K. Dujardin has been involved in the development of the Lille Apathy Rating Scale, and S. Starkstein has been involved in the development of the Apathy Scale. None of the authors have any financial interest in the use of any of the scales included in this reviews.


Apathy is a common condition in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is generally defined as a lack of motivation. It is associated with more severe cognitive dysfunction and a decrease in activities of daily living (ADL) performance. Anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure, can be a symptom of both depressive and apathetic syndromes. The Movement Disorder Society (MDS) commissioned a task force to assess the clinimetric properties of apathy and anhedonia scales in PD patients. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify scales that have either been validated or used in PD patients. Apathy scales identified for review include the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES), the Apathy Scale (AS), the Apathy Inventory (AI), and the Lille Apathy Rating Scale (LARS). In addition, item 4 (motivation/initiative) of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and item 7 (apathy) of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were included. Anhedonia scales identified for review were the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS) and the Chapman scales for physical and social anhedonia. Only the AS is classified as “recommended” to assess apathy in PD. Although item 4 of the UPDRS also meets the criteria to be classified as recommended, it should be considered for screening only because of the obvious limitations of a single item construct. For the assessment of anhedonia, only the SHAPS meets the criteria of “Suggested.” Information on the validity of apathy and anhedonia scales is limited because of the lack of consensus on diagnostic criteria for these conditions. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society