The Cognitive Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson's Disease
Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) suffer most visibly with such motor deficits as tremor and rigidity and less obviously with a range of nonmotor symptoms, including autonomic dysfunction, mood disorders, and cognitive impairment. The neuropsychiatric disturbances of PD can be as disabling as its motor disorders; but they have only recently begun to be studied intensively by clinicians and scientists. In this book, Patrick McNamara examines the major neuropsychiatric syndromes of PD in detail and offers a cognitive theory that accounts for both their neurology and their phenomenology.
McNamara offers an up-to-date review of current knowledge of such neuropsychiatric manifestations of PD as cognitive deficits, personality changes, speech and language symptoms, sleep disorders, apathy, psychosis, and dementia. He argues that the cognitive, mood, and personality symptoms of PD stem from the weakening or suppression of the agentic aspects of the self.
McNamara’s study may well lead to improved treatment for Parkinson’s patients. But its overarching goal is to arrive at a better understanding of the human mind and its breakdown patterns in patients with PD. The human mind-brain is an elaborate and complex structure patched together to produce what we call the self. When we observe the disruption of the self structure that occurs with the various neuropsychiatric disorders associated with PD, McNamara argues, we get a glimpse into the inner workings of the most spectacular structure of the self: the agentic self, the self that acts.
About the Author
Patrick McNamara is Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston VA Healthcare System. He is the author of The Neuroscience of Religious Experience and other books.
“This book is an important addition to the literature on PD from the viewpoint of theory and neuropsychological practice. But McNamara goes beyond theory and practice to provide the most important service of all: He humanizes the individuals with this pernicious disease, makes plain the burdens they bear, and tells of their courage and their often heroic efforts to live their lives to the fullest. For this as well as for his thoughtful, unified consideration of their condition, he has earned our thanks.” —Applied Neuropsychology
"A detailed account of the neuropsychiatry of Parkinson's disease that goes beyond the motor aspects of the disorder is long overdue. This book is outstanding because, to my knowledge, no comparable volume exists. Written by an international expert in the field, The Cognitive Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson's Disease will certainly make a significant contribution to the study of neuropsychiatry of neurological diseases."
"Patrick McNamara has produced a comprehensive review of the nonmotor problems found in patients with Parkinson's disease and also offers a very interesting conceptual framework for understanding these issues from a 'top down' perspective. Anyone interested in the neuropsychiatric aspects of Parkinson's disease would certainly benefit from this work."
Matthew Menza, Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School