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Neurohospitalist. 2012 Jan;2(1):28-35. doi: 10.1177/1941874411427734.

Inpatient management of Parkinson disease: current challenges and future directions.

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  • 1Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.


Parkinson disease (PD) is usually managed through outpatient clinical care. Reasons for hospital admissions are either directly related to PD or may reflect comorbidities. When hospitalized, patients with PD may face many challenges. Most commonly these are related to medication management, falls, mental status changes, infections, and emergence of psychiatric symptoms. Timely recognition and proper management of PD-specific hospitalization-related problems may be delayed, given the common lack of expertise in PD management of hospital physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. With increasing prevalence of PD, it is expected that more patients will require inpatient hospital care. It is therefore very important to recognize problems that may arise upon hospitalization of a patient with PD and provide education to health care professionals involved in the inpatient care of patients with PD. This approach may lead to reductions in complication rates and duration of hospital stays.


In this review, we outline the most common reasons for hospitalization of patients with PD, discuss challenges related to inpatient hospital care of patients with PD, and comment on future directions aimed at optimizing hospitalization outcomes in the population with PD.


Parkinson disease; hospitalization; inpatient

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