To determine the frequency of non-motor symptoms (NMS) in patients of Parkinson’s disease (PD) presenting to a movement disorder clinic at a tertiary care centre in Pakistan, and how frequency of NMS is different in male and female patients.
Observational, cross-sectional study.
Tertiary care centre.
Out of 102 patients, 85 were included. Inclusion criteria were patients with PD diagnosed according to the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Clinical Diagnostic Criteria, age ≥18 years, able to give consent and have no difficulty in answering questions. Exclusion criteria were diseases that resemble PD, stroke, dementia, patients unable to provide information and history of antipsychotic use.
The NMSQuest revealed a mean of nearly seven different NMS per patient. Autonomic problems such as constipation (56%) and nocturia (49%) were the most common NMS, while urinary urgency was reported by 35% of patients. Low mood and feeling sad were reported by 47%, whereas feeling anxious/panicky was reported by 36%. Problem with memory was reported by 45% of patients. Feeling of light-headedness and dizziness was reported by 40% of patients. Problems with sexual relationship were reported by 30% of patients. The most common sleep problem was difficulty falling sleep (29%). Pain not related to the musculoskeletal system was reported by 30% of patients. Loss or change in the ability to taste or smell was reported by 29% of patients. The rest of NMS were less than 25% in frequency. Feeling sad or blue, feeling light-headed/dizzy, unexplained pain, unpleasant sensations in the legs, difficulty in swallowing and faecal incontinence were more common in female participants, while problems with sex were more common in male participants.
NMS are quite prevalent in PD in our population. Certain NMS are more common in women as compared with men. There is a need for a large-scale study to look for the association of different NMS with sex.