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Int J Neurosci. 2012 May;122(5):233-6. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2012.642038. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Differences in motor and cognitive function in patients with Parkinson's disease with and without orthostatic hypotension.

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Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often present with orthostatic hypotension (OH) as a result of the dysautonomia associated with the disease or as a side effect of the dopaminergic medications used to treat the disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in motor and cognitive function in patients with PD with and without OH. Forty-four patients with a diagnosis of PD were evaluated and stratified by the presence of OH based on orthostatic blood pressure recordings. Both groups underwent assessments of motor and cognitive function. OH was present in 17 of 44 patients (39%) with PD. These patients with OH had significantly lower scores in gross motor, balance, and cognitive function (p < .05). No significant difference between groups was found in the finger tapping scores. These results suggest that patients with PD should be routinely screened for OH as it commonly occurs and may negatively impact gross motor, balance, and cognitive function.

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