Non-motor symptoms profile and burden in drug naïve versus long-term Parkinson's disease patients

Panagiotis Zis, Alexandra Rizos, Pablo Martinez-Martin, Suvankar Pal, Monty Silverdale, Jagdish C Sharma, Anna Sauerbier, Kallol Ray Chaudhuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated that, contrary to common perception non-motor symptoms (NMS) occur and may dominate early and untreated stage of Parkinson's disease (PD).

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this ongoing study was to describe the overall NMS profile and burden in drug naïve PD patients (DNPD) compared to a group of long-term PD patients (LTPD, disease duration ≥15 years).

METHODS: Cross sectional UK data from a multicenter (16 sites) collaboration were obtained and specifically NMS dataset from validated scales were analysed in DNPD and LTPD patients. The NMS scale (NMSS) was used as the primary outcome variable.

RESULTS: Out of a current database of 468 PD patients, 57 were DNPD (58% males, mean age 64.8 years, median Hoehn and Yahr stage 1) and 25 were LTPD (44%, mean age 67.6 years, median Hoehn and Yahr stage 3). DNPD patients had a significantly lower (p = 0.001) NMSS score (mean 45.5, range 1-150) compared to the LTPD patients (mean 74.0, range 6-155), but 26.3% had severe and 19.3% had very severe burden of NMSS using NMSS cutoff scores. In comparison, 20.0% of the LTPD patients had severe and 60.0% very severe burden of NMS (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: NMS are common in DNPD patients and over 45% may have severe to very severe burden of NMS, which is a key determinant of quality of life. In LTPD patients not only the burden of "very severe" NMS is significantly higher, but there are also differences in the profile of expression of NMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Severity of Illness Index


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