Research Results

Dyskinesias and Off States for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: The Patient’s Perspective

Dyskinesias, uncontrollable involuntary movements that are different from tremors, are a common experience for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Dyskinesias may be mild, and not interfere with daily living, or they may be more debilitating than the cardinal symptoms of PD (i.e., tremor; rigidity, gait and balance, slowness of movement), markedly impacting emotional well-being and quality of life.  In our survey, a high prevalence of dyskinesias was reported, and dyskinesias adversely impacted day-to-day functions, including speech, chewing and swallowing, eating, dressing, hygiene, handwriting, engaging in hobbies and other activities, walking and balance, engaging in public and social settings. Furthermore, many of the participants in this survey reported elevated levels of emotional distress (i.e., anxiety and depression) that directly relate to symptoms of dyskinesia.

With increased attention to and awareness about the patient’s perspective about the experience of dyskinesias, there is an opportunity for improved intervention for individuals with PD, from symptom management to treatments that may help with adapting to and coping with such symptoms. An integrated treatment team will likely lead to better outcomes, particularly working with individuals who specialize in addressing motor and non-motor symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with PD. 

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