Utility of a patient survey in identifying fluctuations in early stage Parkinson’s disease
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Motor and non-motor fluctuations are well known sequelae of dopaminergic therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly during the advanced stages. However, the prevalence of fluctuations early in the treatment course has been less well recognised and may be missed clinically if not specifically probed. We examined the used of a survey for this purpose. Patients to be surveyed were recruited by neurologists and geriatricians at 20 Australian centres. Patients had a diagnosis of idiopathic PD with a duration of fewer than 5 years and were considered by their treating physician to be non-fluctuating or had no change in their treatment plan in the prior 6 months. Patients, with or without assistance, completed a 19-item wearing-off questionnaire to assess the presence of motor and non-motor fluctuations that indicated early wearing-off. Investigators assessed the usefulness of the questionnaire in detecting fluctuations and guiding PD treatment. Of 105 patients recruited, 92 were eligible for analysis. There were 56 (61%) identified as having fluctuations. Patients with wearing-off were younger (mean 67 vs 72 years), and more likely to have had PD for more than 3 years. About half the patients (49%) were able to complete the questionnaire independently. Clinicians perceived the questionnaire as useful for detecting fluctuations and adjusting treatment. A simple and easily administered wearing-off questionnaire may be useful in the early detection of fluctuations in PD patients and assist in guiding therapy.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
Copyright 2008 Elsevier. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.