Apathetic about Apathy

Apathy is “a frequent and disabling” symptom of Parkinson’s disease. You’d assume, given how frequently apathy occurs and how disabling it is, that the main websites supporting people with Parkinson’s would have lots of information about apathy.

You’d be wrong.

Parkinson’s UK doesn’t mention apathy in their list of non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The American Parkinson’s Disease Association also doesn’t mention apathy in their list of non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

In Parkinson’s Australia, apathy does get a mention in their list of symptoms, but it is regarded as a “mood disorder” which it certainly isn’t. It makes apathy sounds like an attitude, or a choice. Apathy is most definitely is not a choice – it is a direct result of denegeneration in the brain.

If you have Parkinson’s, and if you are finding that your motivation levels are slipping, then seriously think about transcranial red and near infrared lights. At the moment, this is the only form of treatment that has been shown to reduce apathy and increase motivation and zest for life.

You can make your own Cossack (there’s even a movie) or you can consider the Well Red Coronet.

*Dujardin et al 2014.

Author: RedlightsontheBrain

Redlightsonthebrain is written by Catherine Hamilton, a retired doctor on behalf of Light Ahead Inc, a Tasmanian-based not-for-profit organisation. Light Ahead Inc aims to help people to learn about neurogenerative diseases and the practical, safe and scientifically-based things that may be able to help. Part of this is to provide low-cost access to red light devices, hence the DIY instructions on this blog. All sales of the Coronet red light device support the work of Light Ahead Inc.