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Frequency of non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease presenting to tertiary care centre in Pakistan: an observational, cross-sectional study
  1. Shahid Mukhtar1,
  2. Rashid Imran1,
  3. Mohsin Zaheer1,
  4. Huma Tariq2
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Punjab Institute of Neurosciences, Lahore General Hospital, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  2. 2 School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shahid Mukhtar; drshahidmukhtar{at}


Objective To determine the frequency of non-motor symptoms (NMS) in patients of Parkinson’s disease (PD) presenting to a movement disorder clinic at a tertiary care centre in Pakistan, and how frequency of NMS is different in male and female patients.

Study design Observational, cross-sectional study.

Setting Tertiary care centre.

Participants Out of 102 patients, 85 were included. Inclusion criteria were patients with PD diagnosed according to the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Clinical Diagnostic Criteria, age ≥18 years, able to give consent and have no difficulty in answering questions. Exclusion criteria were diseases that resemble PD, stroke, dementia, patients unable to provide information and history of antipsychotic use.

Results The NMSQuest revealed a mean of nearly seven different NMS per patient. Autonomic problems such as constipation (56%) and nocturia (49%) were the most common NMS, while urinary urgency was reported by 35% of patients. Low mood and feeling sad were reported by 47%, whereas feeling anxious/panicky was reported by 36%. Problem with memory was reported by 45% of patients. Feeling of light-headedness and dizziness was reported by 40% of patients. Problems with sexual relationship were reported by 30% of patients. The most common sleep problem was difficulty falling sleep (29%). Pain not related to the musculoskeletal system was reported by 30% of patients. Loss or change in the ability to taste or smell was reported by 29% of patients. The rest of NMS were less than 25% in frequency. Feeling sad or blue, feeling light-headed/dizzy, unexplained pain, unpleasant sensations in the legs, difficulty in swallowing and faecal incontinence were more common in female participants, while problems with sex were more common in male participants.

Conclusion NMS are quite prevalent in PD in our population. Certain NMS are more common in women as compared with men. There is a need for a large-scale study to look for the association of different NMS with sex.

  • parkinson-s disease
  • adult neurology
  • neurological pain

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  • Contributors SM: designed the study and looked after the whole project. RI: worked with the patients, applied the questionnaire, helped in data collection. MZ: supervised the study, helped with ambiguities, analysis and interpretation. HT: applied the questionnaire, helped in data collection.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Hospital ethical committee for clinical disciplines, Lahore General Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data can be shared via email with interested readers.

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