Findings from a recent Newcastle University study could help diagnose Parkinson’s disease in early stages, which could lead to earlier treatment and better quality of life.
The majority of people with the disease experience a series of motor-related (or movement-related) symptoms, which are considered the main symptoms of the Parkinson’s. However, the study found a series of common non-motor problems as well that afflict many Parkinson’s patients in the very early stages, including:
- Drooling or overproduction of saliva
- Sexual problems
- Urinary urgency
- Reduced sense of smell
- Sleep deprivation
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Constipation or bowel issues
The study, published in the American Academy of Neurology, compared 159 patient’s newly-diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to 99 otherwise healthy study participants, and polled participants on how many of the above symptoms they experienced.
The study revealed that the Parkinson’s patients admitted to experiencing at least eight of the non-motor problems on average, compared to only the healthy group, which only experienced 3 non-motor symptoms on average. For instance, 56-percent of Parkinson patients said they experienced excess saliva or drooling, compared to 6% of those without the disease. Also, 42-percent of Parkinson’s patients experienced regular constipation versus only 7-percent of the control group.
“These results show that Parkinson’s affects many systems in the body…even in its earliest stages,” says Dr. Tien K. Khoo, Study Author. “[However] people often don’t even mention these symptoms to their doctors, and doctors don’t ask…but they can be treated effectively.”
Source: Times of India