Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Role of Disgust Proneness in Parkinson’s Disease: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

  • Rottraut Ille (a1) (a2), Albert Wabnegger (a1), Petra Schwingenschuh (a3), Petra Katschnig-Winter (a4), Mariella Kögl-Wallner (a3), Karoline Wenzel (a4) and Anne Schienle (a1) (a4)...

The knowledge about personality traits in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is still limited. In particular, disgust proneness has not been investigated as well as its neuronal correlates. Although several morphometric studies demonstrated that PD is associated with gray matter volume (GMV) reduction in olfactory and gustatory regions involved in disgust processing, a possible correlation with disgust proneness has not been investigated. We conducted a voxel-based morphometry analysis to compare GMV between 16 cognitively normal male PD patients with mild to moderate symptoms and 24 matched control subjects. All participants had answered questionnaires for the assessment of disgust proneness, trait anger and trait anxiety. We correlated questionnaire scores with GMV in both groups. The clinical group reported selectively reduced disgust proneness toward olfactory stimuli associated with spoilage. Moreover, they showed GMV reduction in the central olfactory system [orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and piriform cortex]. Disgust items referring to olfactory processing were positively correlated with OFC volume in PD patients. Our data suggest an association between PD-associated neurodegeneration and olfactory related facets of the personality trait disgust proneness. (JINS, 2015, 21, 314–317)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Anne Schienle, University of Graz, Department of Psychology, Universitätsplatz 2 / III, A-8010 Graz, Austria. E-mail:
Hide All
Assogna, F., Pontieri, F.E., Caltagirone, C., & Spalletta, G. (2008). The recognition of facial emotion expressions in Parkinson’s disease. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 18, 835848.
Borg, C., Bedoin, N., Bogey, S., Michael, G.A., Poujois, A., Laurent, B., & Thomas-Antérion, C. (2012). Implicit and explicit emotional processing in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 34, 289296.
Brenneis, C., Seppi, K., Schocke, M.F., Muller, J., Luginger, E., Bosch, S., & Wenning, G.K. (2003). Voxel-based morphometry detects cortical atrophy in the Parkinson variant of multiple system atrophy. Movement Disorders, 18, 11321138.
Doty, R.L. (2014). Olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Focus on Parkinson’s Disease, 24, 3843.
Fahn, S., & Elton, R.L. (1987). The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. In S. Fahn, C.D. Marsden, D.B. Calne & M. Goldstein (Eds.), Recent developments in Parkinson’s disease (pp. 153163). Florham Park, NJ: Macmillan Healthcare Information.
Haaxma, C.A., Bloem, B.R., Borm, G.F., Oyen, W.J., Leenders, K.L., Eshuis, S., & Horstink, M.W.I.M. (2007). Gender differences in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 78, 819824.
Hautzinger, M., Bailer, M., Worall, H., & Keller, F. (1994). Beck-Depressions-Inventar (BDI). Bearbeitung der deutschen Ausgabe. Testhandbuch. Bern: Huber.
Hoehn, M., & Yahr, M. (1967). Parkinsonism: Onset, progression and mortality. Neurology, 17, 427442.
Ihl, R., Grass-Kapanke, B., Lahrem, P., Brinkmeyer, J., Fischer, S., & Gaab, N. (2000). Development and validation of a test for early diagnosis of dementia with differentiation from depression (TFDD). Fortschritte der Neurologie Psychiatrie, 68, 413422.
Laux, L., Glanzmann, P., & Spielberger, C.D. (1981). State Trait Angstinventar (STAI). Weinheim: Beltz Testgesellschaft.
Lee, E.Y., Eslinger, P.J., Du, G., Lewis, M.M., & Huang, X. (2014). Olfactory-related cortical atrophy is associated with olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 29, 12051208.
Menke, R.A.L., Szewczyk-Krolikowski, K., Jbabdi, S., Jenkinson, M., Talbot, K., Mackay, C.E., & Hu, M. (2014). Comprehensive Morphometry of subcortical grey matter structures in early-stage Parkinson’s disease. Human Brain Mapping, 35, 16811690.
Pan, P.L., Song, W., & Shang, H.F. (2012). Voxel-wise meta-analysis of gray matter abnormalities in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. European Journal of Neurology, 19, 199206.
Poletti, M., & Bonuccelli, U. (2012). Personality traits in patients with Parkinson’s disease: Assessment and clinical implications. Neurology, 259, 10291038.
Schienle, A., Walter, B., Stark, R., & Vaitl, D. (2002). A questionnaire for the assessment of disgust sensitivity. Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 31, 110120.
Schienle, A., Stark, R., Walter, B., Blecker, C., Ott, U., & Sammer, G. (2002). The insula is not specifically involved in disgust processing: An fMRI study. Neuroreport, 13, 20232026.
Schwenkmezger, P., Hodapp, V., & Spielberger, C.D. (1992). Das State-Trait-Ärgerausdrucks-Inventar STAXI: Handbuch. Berlin: Huber.
Suzuki, A., Hoshino, T., Shigemasu, K., & Kawamura, M. (2006). Disgust-specific impairment of facial expression recognition in Parkinson’s disease. Brain, 129, 707717.
Wattendorf, E., Welge-Lüssen, A., Fiedler, K., Bilecen, D., Wolfensberger, M., Fuhr, P., & Westermann, B. (2009). Olfactory impairment predicts brain atrophy in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 1541015413.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed