Too much focus on tremor may be leaving people with Parkinson’s under-treated for non-motor symptoms like depression, sleep problems and pain. Studies have shown that these symptoms are common in established Parkinson's disease, but far less is known about the early and pre-motor phases.
We looked at more than 750 people in our Monument Discovery Cohort recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and found that 99% had at least one ‘non-motor’ symptom, and many suffered five or more. A number of these symptoms were apparently untreated, despite the availability of effective treatments. For example, only one quarter of people with Parkinson’s and significant depression were being treated with medication.
We found that pain, depression, anxiety and fatigue had the largest impact, and that overall these non-motor symptoms impacted quality of life more than tremor and movement problems. Careful characterisation of these features, which we have now published, could improve clinical care and better our understanding of the disease.
Read the full paper here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mds.26281/abstract