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Topic Parkinson's and Counterfactual Reasoning Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By VioletV On 2015.10.05 20:47
Interesting. Helping the 16 year old find articles in the research literature about the developing adolescent brain, I found a summary of studies that suggest that people with PD are less able than before to do "counterfactual reasoning."

I'll read it and figure out what it means and report back.

Seems that I've got homework too, but wanted to share it...explains something of why people with PD continue to do things that are no longer safe.

More later.


By ResistanceFutil On 2015.10.06 10:01
Yes, please - your interpretation. The relative section on PD does appear to explain behavior I've seen from my husband.

By carman96 On 2015.10.09 09:47
Wow, long and involved article. I basically just read the part about Parkinson's. Explains why he is always obsessed about tools and driving I guess. He hasn't driven in years and I shudder to think what he'd do with power tools.
Also I think my husband's brain never got past adolescence!!
He always was quite a bit of a daredevil and scared me and his mother many times.

By VioletV On 2015.10.09 15:54

MacNamara et al 2003 Counterfactual cognitive deficit in persons with Parkinsonís disease--a different article (referenced in the one I first linked to...I'll get to that one...)

In their discussion a study comparing PWPs to undergraduate controls and age-matched non PWPs, MacNamara and his colleagues say: "Our findings may also carry some relevance for understanding the abilities of Parkinsonís disease patients to handle daily social interactions and activities.

"If patients suffer counterfactual impairment they are less likely to be able to handle social conversations fluently, to formulate plans easily, or to compare alternative outcomes imaginatively, and so forth. The inefficiency in ďrunning mental simulationsĒ will have an impact on fundamental social skills, resulting ultimately in less flexibility and greater withdrawal from social interactions.

"The counterfactual impairment may also undermine the ability to self monitor, and thus patients do not realise that their communication skills (their ability to stay on topic, to take appropriate turns in a conversation, to provide enough information in a conversation, and so on) need adjustment. Because these kinds of daily social interaction influence the quality of life for the patient, it will be important for future studies to explore the contribution of the counterfactual deficit to daily social interactions with others.

"Effective coping with a chronic disorder such as Parkinsonís disease requires that the patient be able to build up social networks and contacts, not undermine them."

This tells me (VV) some important things about the specific effect of PD on social reasoning. Being able to plan ahead, to do if-this-then-that reasoning, to anticipate the impact of their behavior on others (which is to say US, caregivers), is clearly affected by PD, separate from any overall cognitive loss caused by dementia. This helps me understand (and maybe to be more patient with) my PWP husband's not understanding that IF we spend 2 hours word-smithing a simple email THEN I won't have time to get the laundry (not to mention my own writing, taking a nap, watching a movie etc etc) accomplished. Or even, IF he wants me to put the ointment on his forehead THEN he needs to turn away from the mirror and toward me so I can reach his face.

I'll be doing some more reading, figuring out about all this. It stimulates the academic part of my mind, and gives me a clearer sense of why my husband can't always understand the impact of his behavior on me.


By bksquared On 2015.10.10 11:21
Great research and findings. On an intellectual level the data gives us an good understanding of the cause of behaviors we are experiencing. However, there are no drugs or treatments cited to repair the damage caused by the prefrontal lobe lessions. Now if we can find the articles on how to cope, divert, or modify those behaviors our daily lives could improve. My PWP will climb a ladder and fall off multiple times, but will not stop because I say it is dangerous. He wants to -- therefore he does. Finally when I explode in frustration and hide the ladder the behavior will stop. There must be a better way. Hope there articles are out there to help us.

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