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Among people with Parkinson's disease (PD), non-motor symptoms (NMS) are a well-recognised cause of significant morbidity and poor quality of life. Yet, it is only more recently that NMS have been recognised to affect the lives of patients with atypical parkinsonian syndromes in a similar fashion. The aim of this article is to highlight and compare the relative prevalence of NMS among patients with atypical parkinsonian syndromes in the published literature, which largely remain underreported and unaddressed in routine clinical practice. All NMS that are recognised to occur in PD are also found to commonly occur in atypical parkinsonian syndromes. In particular, excessive daytime sleepiness is more prevalent among atypical parkinsonian syndromes (94.3%) compared to PD (33.9%) or normal controls (10.5%) (p < 0.001). Urinary dysfunction (not limited to urinary incontinence) is not only found to occur in MSA (79.7%) and PD (79.9%), but has also been reported in nearly half of the patients with PSP (49.3%), DLB (42%) and CBD (53.8%) (p < 0.001). Apathy is significantly more common among the atypical parkinsonian syndromes [PSP (56%), MSA (48%), DLB (44%), CBD (43%)] compared to PD (35%) (p = 0.029). Early recognition and addressing of NMS among atypical parkinsonian syndromes may help improve the holistic patient care provided and may encompass a range of conservative and pharmacotherapeutic treatments to address these symptoms. © 2023. The Author(s).


Piriyankan Ananthavarathan, B Patel, S Peeros, R Obrocki, N Malek. Neurological update: non-motor symptoms in atypical parkinsonian syndromes. Journal of neurology. 2023 Sep;270(9):4558-4578

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PMID: 37316556

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