Fatigue Linked to Parkinson’s Patients Lifestyle

Bradykinesia tremors and rigidity may have a common cause with mental symptoms

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) Although Parkinson’s disease is most recognized for problems with movement, many non-movement symptoms might also affect patients. Doctors often do not recognize these fatigue symptoms and therefore under treat them.

In a recent study, fatigue and other non-movement symptoms were present along with movement symptoms suggesting that they might have the same cause.

This study demonstrated that patients who experience fatigue have a lesser quality of life.

"Report fatigue to your neurologist; could improve your life."

Dr. Vinod Metta from National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence, King's College Hospital, King's College London, stated, “It is likely that in the majority of Parkinson’s disease patients fatigue is intrinsic to the disease.”

In this study he attempted to use “real life” patients to measure fatigue and link it to other symptoms of the disease.

This study demonstrated:

• Fatigue was present in all stages of the disease
• Fatigue increased as patient’s disease progressed
• Drug therapy was not the reason for fatigue
• Increased fatigue was associated with increased depression and anxiety
• Increased fatigue decreased quality of life in the study patients

In conclusion, this study suggests that fatigue is an important non-motor symptom of PD and is associated with depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Fatigue appears to be present in most Parkinson’s disease patients regardless of how long they have had the disease.

Fatigue is closely linked with quality of life in Parkinson’s patients. Patients should discuss their non-motor symptoms with their neurologist who may offer treatment.

Dr. Metta concluded that, “An improved understanding of this poorly researched area of non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease could then guide a holistic treatment strategy.”

This international, cross-sectional, open, multi-centre study was published last year in the journal Parkinson’s Disease.

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Review Date: 
January 30, 2012
Last Updated:
January 31, 2012