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Gait, Nonmotor Symptoms Affect Quality of Life in Parkinson Disease

August 08, 2019

Mood, nonmotor symptom burden, and gait problems appear to contribute most to a poorer quality of life perceived by patients with Parkinson disease compared with controls, according to a study published online in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders.

“In daily clinical practice, it is necessary to ask about nonmotor symptoms, mood, and gait problems in patients with Parkinson’s disease during their first years of evolution,” researchers advised.

The study focused on both health-related and global quality of life in 692 patients with Parkinson disease without dementia compared with 206 participants in a control group. To evaluate participants’ quality of life, researchers used three instruments: the 39-item Parkinson's disease Questionnaire, a subjective rating of global quality of life (PQ-10), and the EUROHIS-QOL 8-item index.

Overall, quality of life was worse in participants with Parkinson disease compared to participants in the control group.

Contributing the most to their poorer health-related quality of life were nonmotor symptoms burden, mood, and gait problems, researchers reported. For global quality of life, mood and gait problems appeared the biggest contributors.

“Mood, nonmotor symptoms burden, and gait problems seem to be the most relevant factors affecting health-related and global perceived quality of life in non-demented Parkinson’s disease patients,” researchers concluded, even in a subgroup of patients who had Parkinson’s disease for less than 5 years.

Jolynn Tumolo


Santos GD, Fonticoba TD, Suarez CE, et al. Non-motor symptoms burden, mood, and gait problems are the most significant factors contributing to a poor quality of life in non-demented Parkinson's disease patients: results from the COPPADIS study cohort [published online July 29, 2019]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:

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