The Parkinson Alliance Reports Survey Findings on Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease from the Patient’s Perspective

KINGSTON, N.J., March, 20, 2019 — The Parkinson Alliance released the results of their 30th survey-based research entitled, Non-Motor Symptoms and Parkinson’s Disease: The Patient’s Perspective, inclusive of 1,164 individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who were asked about their experience with non-motor symptoms (NMS) and quality of life. NMS in PD are a strikingly diverse set of symptoms. Sleep, fatigue, mood, cognition, pain, constipation, bladder control changes, changes in smell, excessive sweating, and perceptual problems/hallucinations have been recognized as important components of the disease, and have an impact on quality of life.

Scientists have found that neurological symptoms (e.g., sensory changes or memory dysfunction), mood disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and cardiovascular or other autonomic complaints have been reported to precede the onset of motor symptoms by up to 10 years. Research has also found that NMS appear to evolve over the course of the disease with a large number of individuals with PD experiencing many NMS. In The Parkinson Alliance survey, 50% of the participants reported experiencing 24 out of 31 possible symptom categories. Urination difficulty, fatigue, sleep, constipation, and cognitive difficulties were the symptoms most frequently reported to impact day-to-day living. NMS is a major cause of disability in PD, though these symptoms remain under-recognized by health care providers.

Dr. Jeffrey Wertheimer, Chief Research Consultant for The Parkinson Alliance, stated, “Non-motor symptoms are a significant part of Parkinson’s disease and can be quite debilitating. Such symptoms commonly adverse impact engagement in daily activities and social relationships.” Dr. Wertheimer added, “Despite the high frequency of non-motor symptoms, they frequently remain under assessed and under treated.  Importantly, there are treatments for non-motor symptoms, and, given the diverse manifestation of the symptoms of PD, an integrated treatment team will likely lead to better outcomes, particularly working with subspecialists who can best help with specific non-motor symptoms.”

Please visit our website to view and download the full report, which includes take-home points and general recommendations for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

 About The Parkinson Alliance
The mission of The Parkinson Alliance is to raise funds for research to end Parkinson’s disease, support the development of new therapies, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease through patient-centered research and resources. We fund research and conduct our own – patient-centered outcomes research. We are the umbrella organization for Team Parkinson events and the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

Carol Walton
President & CEO
The Parkinson Alliance
(800) 579-8440

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