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Autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease
Published on January 19, 2015 67 min
Other Talks in the Series: Parkinson's Disease
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- Prof. Robert A. Hauser
- University of South Florida, USA
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease
- Prof. Michael S. Okun
- University of Florida, USA
Mechanisms of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease
- Prof. Angela Cenci
- University of Lund, Sweden
Mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease
- Prof. Anthony Schapira
- Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University College London, UK
My name is Ron Pfeiffer. I'm a professor and vice chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. I have been interested in treating and performing research on patients with Parkinson's disease for almost 40 years. So it's a real delight today to be able to provide an overview of autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, which is a subject near and dear to my heart.
Parkinson's disease traditionally has been considered to be a motor disorder, characterized primarily by tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, with the later development of postural instability with balance impairment and falling. However, in the past 20 or more years, it's been increasingly recognized that Parkinson's disease contains much more than just motor dysfunction and that there are a broad array of features of Parkinson's disease that have little or nothing to do with motor function or dysfunction. These so-called nonmotor features include abnormalities of sensation, behavioral changes, sleep disorders, fatigue, and for our purposes today, autonomic dysfunction.
Virtually the entire array of autonomic function can be and is impaired in individuals with Parkinson's disease, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, urinary, sexual, and thermoregulatory dysfunction. And in the talk today, we will touch on each of these areas.
Over a decade ago now, we surveyed our clinic patients using a simple, non-validated questionnaire and found that when one looked at the various aspects of autonomic dysfunction, virtually in every instance, individuals with Parkinson's disease described more symptoms of autonomic dysfunction than did controls, who were primarily spouses. And if you summed those symptoms together, the difference, as you can see over in the right-hand column, became quite striking.