Delineating nonmotor symptoms in early Parkinson's disease and first-degree relatives

Fahd Baig, Michael Lawton, Michal Rolinski, Claudio Ruffman, Kannan Nithi, Samuel Evetts, Hugo Fernandes, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Michele Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Nonmotor symptoms (NMS) are an important prodromal feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, their frequency, treatment rates, and impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the early motor phase is unclear. Rates of NMS in enriched at-risk populations, such as first-degree PD relatives, have not been delineated. We assessed NMS in an early cohort of PD, first-degree PD relatives and control subjects to address these questions. In total, 769 population-ascertained PD subjects within 3.5 years of diagnosis, 98 first-degree PD relatives, and 287 control subjects were assessed at baseline across the following NMS domains: (1) neuropsychiatric; (2) gastrointestinal; (3) sleep; (4) sensory; (5) autonomic; and (6) sexual. NMS were much more common in PD, compared to control subjects. More than half of the PD cases had hyposmia, pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, or urinary dysfunction. NMS were more frequent in those with the postural instability gait difficulty phenotype, compared to the tremor dominant (mean total number of NMS 7.8 vs. 6.2; P < 0.001). PD cases had worse HRQoL scores than controls (odds ratio: 4.1; P < 0.001), with depression, anxiety, and pain being stronger drivers than motor scores. NMS were rarely treated in routine clinical practice. First-degree PD relatives did not significantly differ in NMS, compared to controls, in this baseline study. NMS are common in early PD and more common in those with postural instability gait difficulty phenotype or on treatment. Despite their major impact on quality of life, NMS are usually under-recognized and untreated. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Early online date20 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


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