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Lancet Neurol. 2009 May;8(5):464-74. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70068-7.

Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease: dopaminergic pathophysiology and treatment.

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  • 1National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence, King's College Hospital and University Hospital Lewisham, London, UK. ray.chaudhuri@uhl.nhs.uk

Abstract

Several studies, including work from the Parkinson's disease (PD) non-motor group and others, have established that the non-motor symptoms of PD are common, occur across all stages of PD, are under-reported, and are a key determinant of quality of life. Research suggests that the non-motor symptoms of the disease are frequently unrecognised by clinicians and remain untreated. Even when identified, there is a common perception that many of these symptoms are untreatable. The role of dopaminergic drugs in treating the various non-motor problems of PD, although clinically recognised, has received little attention. In this Review, we investigate the dopaminergic basis of the range of non-motor symptoms that occur in PD such as depression, apathy, sleep disorders (including rapid-eye movement sleep behaviour disorder), and erectile dysfunction. We discuss the evidence that these symptoms are treatable, at least in part, with various dopaminergic strategies and, where relevant, we also refer to the use of deep-brain stimulation of appropriate targets in the brain. This Review provides a comprehensive overview of the management of this challenging aspect of PD.

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