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Intern Med J. 2006 Aug;36(8):524-6.

Reasons for admission to hospital for Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and University Department of Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


The management of Parkinson's disease (PD) tends to focus on the presenting motor syndrome; yet, in the long term, nonmotor complications of the illness and complications of treatment become increasingly troublesome. The aims of this study were to review the reasons for 761 hospital admissions for patients with a diagnosis of PD and to determine the cause of hospitalization. Only 15% were admitted for primary management of the motor syndrome. PD was the secondary diagnosis in 645 admissions. Of the latter, 39% were admitted because of falls leading to fracture, pneumonia, encephalopathy or dementia and hypotension with syncope. Cardiac and gastrointestinal diseases accounted for a further 22% of admissions. Complications of the later stages of PD and associated treatments are more likely to lead to hospital admission than management of the primary motor syndrome. Some of the emergency hospital admissions for PD may be potentially avoidable with better planning of management in the outpatient and community setting.

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