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Mov Disord. 2012 Jun;27(7):858-63. doi: 10.1002/mds.25003. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Psychosis in Parkinson's disease without dementia: common and comorbid with other non-motor symptoms.

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Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Psychosis in Parkinson's disease (PD) is common and associated with a range of negative outcomes. Dementia and psychosis are highly correlated in PD, but the frequency and correlates of psychosis in patients without cognitive impairment are not well understood. One hundred and ninety-one non-demented PD patients at two movement disorders centers participated in a study of neuropsychiatric complications in PD and completed a detailed neurological and neuropsychiatric assessment, including the rater-administered Parkinson Psychosis Rating Scale for hallucinations, delusions, and minor symptoms of psychosis (illusions and misidentification of persons). Psychotic symptoms were present in 21.5% of the sample. Visual hallucinations were most common (13.6%), followed by auditory hallucinations (6.8%), illusions or misidentification of people (7.3%), and paranoid ideation (4.7%). Visual hallucinations and illusions or misidentification of people were the most common comorbid symptoms (3.1%). Depression (P = 0.01) and rapid eye movement behavior disorder symptoms (P = 0.03) were associated with psychosis in a multivariable model. The odds of experiencing psychotic symptoms were approximately five times higher in patients with comorbid disorders of depression and sleep-wakefulness. Even in patients without global cognitive impairment, psychosis in PD is common and most highly correlated with other non-motor symptoms. Screening for psychosis should occur at all stages of PD as part of a broad non-motor assessment. In addition, these findings suggest a common neural substrate for disturbances of perception, mood, sleep-wakefulness, and incipient cognitive decline in PD.

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