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
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,
sexual, and thermoregulatory
And in the talk today, we will
touch on each of these areas.