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Risk Factors Influence Parkinson Symptoms

Particular factors such as age, gender and type of medication can place people with early Parkinson’s disease at a higher risk for development, or worsening of, hallucinations, sleepiness and swelling.

The study by researchers at the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine is published in the current issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“By identifying risk factors, it may help guide treatment decisions, allow for early intervention and possibly reduce disability,” said study author Kevin Biglan, MD, MPH.

For the study, researchers reviewed the results of a four-year clinical trial involving 301 people with an average age of 61 who had early Parkinson’s disease. Half of the group received the drug levodopa; the other half took pramipexole. No one reported having hallucinations at the beginning of the study.

The study found nearly one-fifth developed hallucinations, more than one-third of the participants developed sleepiness, and nearly half developed swelling within four years of starting treatment.

Multiple health problems, along with age, gender, initial type of treatment and cognitive status were identified as risk factors.

“In contrast to other studies, we found being male, having multiple health problems and taking pramipexole were independently associated with developing sleepiness,” said Biglan. “This is the first time a patient’s other health problems have been identified as a risk factor for drowsiness.”

The study also found being older, having more multiple health problems and the presence of slight memory problems were associated with an increased risk of hallucinations; type of treatment did not affect the risk.

Being female, having heart disease and pramipexole treatment was associated with an increased risk of swelling.

“Our results suggest that other illnesses are important, yet overlooked risk factors for the development of sleep problems, swelling, and hallucinations in early Parkinson’s disease and should be considered when talking to patients about the risks of treatment,” said Biglan.

“When beginning pramipexole, doctors should explain the risks and monitor patients closely for sleep issues and swelling.”

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Risk Factors Influence Parkinson Symptoms

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Risk Factors Influence Parkinson Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/07/11/risk-factors-influence-parkinson-symptoms/996.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.