Non-Motor Symptom Management: Insights into Adherence to Treatment Guidelines in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

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Non-motor symptoms (NMS) reduce quality of life in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, who experience three times more NMS than individuals without PD. While there are international and national NMS treatment guidelines, their implication in clinical practice remains unclear.

This study aimed to investigate the adherence to pharmacological NMS treatment guidelines in patients with mild to moderately severe PD.

220 PD patients with ≥1 NMS based on the Non-Motor Symptom Questionnaire and a Hoehn and Yahr stage ≤4 were randomly selected from the Swedish Parkinson registry and screened for inclusion. NMS were evaluated using the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society–Non-Motor Rating Scale (MDS-NMS), Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale 2, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Treatment was compared with Swedish national guidelines and international guidelines from the MDS Evidence-Based Medicine Committee.

Among 165 included patients, the median number of NMS was 14, and in median 7 symptoms were estimated to require treatment. The most common NMS requiring treatment were pain (69%) and urinary problems (56%). Treatment of depression and constipation demonstrated the highest adherence to guidelines (79% and 77%), while dysphagia and excessive daytime sleepiness exhibited the lowest adherence (0% and 4%). On average, only 32% of NMS were treated in accordance with guidelines.

Adherence to pharmacological guidelines for NMS in patients with mild to severe PD was low. This study highlights the need for improved evaluation and treatment of NMS to enhance symptom management and quality of life among PD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan 11

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • Movement disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • disease management
  • guidelines
  • symptoms


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