Skip to main content
Premorbid Personality and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Journal of Neurology Research (2014)
  • Kelly L. Sullivan, Georgia Southern University
  • James A. Mortimer, University of South Florida
  • Wei Wang, University of South Florida
  • Theresa A. Zesiewicz, University of South Florida
  • James H. Brownlee, Jr., University of South Florida
  • Amy R. Borenstein, University of South Florida
Background: Previous studies support the hypothesis that premorbid personality characteristics may be associated with the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, most of these relied upon subjective reports of premorbid personality earlier in life, which may be subject to recall bias. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the association of PD with risk-taking, routinization, smoking and alcohol consumption in early-adult life as indicators of premorbid personality.

Methods: In-person interviews were conducted with 89 PD patients and 99 controls from a university-based medical center. Associations between indicators of early-adult personality and risk of PD were examined using logistic regression.

Results: Adjusting for age, sex and education, taking or wanting to take more activity risks as a young adult was inversely associated with the risk of PD in the entire sample (odds ratio (OR) = 0.78 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63 - 0.97)). Among women, higher levels of routinization as a young adult were associated with an increased risk of PD (OR = 1.63 (95% CI 1.05 - 2.53)).

Conclusions: Parkinson patients were more likely to take or want to take fewer risks in early-adult life and to prefer a more routine lifestyle than controls, suggesting that individuals with PD may have distinctive premorbid personality characteristics.
  • Novelty-seeking,
  • Routinization,
  • Risk-taking,
  • Premorbid,
  • Risk factors
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Article obtained from the Journal of Neurology Research.
Citation Information
Kelly L. Sullivan, James A. Mortimer, Wei Wang, Theresa A. Zesiewicz, et al.. "Premorbid Personality and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease" Journal of Neurology Research Vol. 4 Iss. 2-3 (2014) p. 81 - 87 ISSN: 1923-2853
Available at: