To study the prevalence and importance of anxiety disorders in patients
with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, the authors systematically evaluated
24 parkinsonian patients for the presence of DSM-III-R axis I syndromes.
Nine subjects (38%) had a clinically significant current anxiety disorder.
Severity of anxiety was not correlated with severity of parkinsonian
symptoms, cumulative duration of L-dopa exposure, or current dose of
L-dopa. These findings suggest that anxiety disorders should be considered
in the medical evaluation and treatment of parkinsonian patients and that
further attention should be paid to the role of the dopaminergic system in
anxiety and phobic disorders.