Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease: diagnosis and management.

Movement Disorders Unit, Kings College Hospital, Guy's King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London, UK.
The Lancet Neurology (Impact Factor: 21.82). 04/2006; 5(3):235-45. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(06)70373-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease rests on the identification of the characteristics related to dopamine deficiency that are a consequence of degeneration of the substantia nigra pars compacta. However, non-dopaminergic and non-motor symptoms are sometimes present before diagnosis and almost inevitably emerge with disease progression. Indeed, non-motor symptoms dominate the clinical picture of advanced Parkinson's disease and contribute to severe disability, impaired quality of life, and shortened life expectancy. By contrast with the dopaminergic symptoms of the disease, for which treatment is available, non-motor symptoms are often poorly recognised and inadequately treated. However, attention is now being focused on the recognition and quantitation of non-motor symptoms, which will form the basis of improved treatments. Some non-motor symptoms, including depression, constipation, pain, genitourinary problems, and sleep disorders, can be improved with available treatments. Other non-motor symptoms can be more refractory and need the introduction of novel non-dopaminergic drugs. Inevitably, the development of treatments that can slow or prevent the progression of Parkinson's disease and its multicentric neurodegeneration provides the best hope of curing non-motor symptoms.

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